Burt Hicks received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, where he majored in Finance. While at the University of Arkansas, he was selected to serve as Portfolio Manager for the Rebsamen Trust Fund Portfolio Management class and also served as President of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
Upon graduation, he worked for Merrill Lynch, and later Bank of America, in New York as an investment banking analyst in the Financial Institutions Group, where he advised banks and insurance companies on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance activities. Burt returned to Arkansas to work for Simmons First National Corporation, the holding company for Simmons Bank, as a management trainee. During this time, he rotated to various units within Simmons to gain a better understanding of how each unit contributes to the overall success and profitability of the Corporation.
Burt left Simmons to enroll in the concurrent degree program at the Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and the University of Arkansas System Clinton School of Public Service, where he received a Juris Doctorate, graduating with Honors, and Master of Public Service degree. He was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in 2014. During his time in law and graduate schools, he completed three intermediate-term (i.e., 3 – 6 months) international finance / economic development projects in Accra, Ghana; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). He was also selected as one of only twelve Regional Social Impact Graduate Fellows with RSF Social Finance and one of only four McLarty Global Engagement Graduate Fellows. Burt received the Dean’s Distinguished Certificate of Service from the Bowen School of Law, recognizing his more than 100 hours of community service in three consecutive academic years.
After graduating, Burt returned to work for Simmons First National Corporation, initially working as Chief of Staff to the Corporate Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. He held various other corporate roles, including Corporate Secretary, Director of M&A and Investor Relations Officer before moving to Simmons Bank, where he served as Chief Financial & Operations Officer for the Wealth Management (trust, investments, insurance) and Specialty Lending divisions (mortgage, credit card, equipment finance) of the Bank. His current role is President & Chief Executive Officer of Simmons First Investment Group, Inc., the Bank’s retail broker-dealer and registered investment adviser subsidiary.
Burt has completed the Darden / SNL Financial Executive Program in Bank Financial Leadership from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He was selected by Arkansas Business for its “20 in Their Twenties” and “40 Under 40” list of business people in Arkansas in 2013 and 2018, respectively. He is Chair-Elect for the Walton College of Business’ Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council and is a board member of Arkansas Fellowship.