Midland States Bancorp CFO Kevin Thompson leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than one year in the position
  • Thanks and good wishes for Thompson
  • Jeffrey Ludwig taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Effingham, Illinois, October 26, 2017 — Kevin Thompson, finance chief of Midland States Bancorp, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Midland States Bancorp, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, October 26, 2017, Kevin L. Thompson, Chief Financial Officer, has already left the company after less than one year in the position, effective October 20, 2017.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first year.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 6 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left within their first year. Around 21 percent left within two years, and 37 percent left within three years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 5.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Midland States Bancorp will undertake a search for a successor.

Thompson’s duties are taken over in the interim by Jeffrey Ludwig, Executive Vice President at Midland States Bancorp, Inc.

“For personal reasons”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Midland States Bancorp said: “Kevin L. Thompson, Chief Financial Officer, resigned for personal reasons from the Company and Midland States Bank, its wholly-owned subsidiary …, effective October 20, 2017.”

Leon J. Holschbach, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, said: “After spending a year in Effingham, Kevin intends to relocate and continue his career in a larger market.”

Precise information about the future plans of Thompson was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the post abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.


Midland States Bancorp said: “On October 20, 2017, Kevin L. Thompson resigned from his positions as Chief Financial Officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer.”

Chaired by John M. Schultz

Midland States Bancorp, Inc. is chaired by John M. Schultz.

Schultz has served as the Chairman of the Company since 1986 and served as the Chairman of the Bank from 1986-2017.

CEO: Leon J. Holschbach

Leon J. Holschbach serves as CEO of Midland States Bancorp, Inc. Holschbach serves as the Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company and Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer the Bank. He has held these positions since August 2007, when he joined the Company.

In the position of CFO since 2016

Thompson served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company and the Bank, positions to which he was appointed in November 2016.

He served on the Company’s Capital Management and Mergers and Acquisitions Committee and chairs its Asset/Liability Committee.

Thompson previously served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance of Zions Bancorporation since 2014.

In this position, Thompson was responsible for financial planning and analysis, budgeting, forecasting, and stress testing.

Prior to joining Zions, Thompson worked for American Express from 2006 to 2014, where he ascended to the position of Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of American Express Centurion Bank.

Thompson is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an M.B.A. and B.S. from Brigham Young University.

At the time of Thompson’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Midland States Bancorp, Leon J. Holschbach had said: “We are very pleased to welcome Kevin Thompson to Midland. Kevin possesses an impressive range of financial, strategic and analytical skills that he developed while serving in senior finance positions at large financial institutions such as Zions Bancorporation and American Express.  He has extensive experience working with broadly diversified, high growth institutions, and will be an effective leader as we continue to build the Midland franchise.”

At the time of Thompson’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Midland States Bancorp, Leon J. Holschbach had further said: “Following Jeff’s promotion to President of the Bank, we conducted a broad search for a new CFO that would allow Jeff to focus more on his operational and strategic responsibilities, including heading up the recently announced Operational Excellence initiative under our Strategic Plan.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Midland States Bancorp, Thompson had said: “I am thrilled to be joining Midland and look forward to being a part of its continued growth.  I have been fortunate to previously work at two other great banking organizations, and it is clear to me that Midland also has a great management and a strong corporate culture.”


Generally speaking, when a top leader announces to step down with no permanent successor in place, it is a signal that the move was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Kevin Thompson’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 44.2017 ($).