Capra Bank moves headquarters to Dubuque ahead of expansion into Texas

A growing financial institution has relocated its headquarters to Dubuque ahead of a planned expansion into Texas.

Capra Bank recently relocated the company’s headquarters from Montezuma, Iowa, to its Dubuque location at 955 Washington St. The full-service bank is led by CEO Tut Fuller and a growing team of bankers with local ties.

Capra next week also will open a branch in Lubbock, Texas, aligned with the business’ overarching goal of providing high-quality services with a focus on local investment.

“For forever, you either had to choose a big bank to have (high-performing) technology or a local bank to have your dollars invested locally,” Tut Fuller said. “(That’s) why we’re doing our model of banking, which is what we call a ‘bank without compromise.’”

Last year, Tut Fuller and Thomas J. Fuller — Tut Fuller’s brother, who now serves on Capra Bank’s board — acquired a bank in Montezuma that previously operated as Peoples Savings Bank.

That location was renamed Capra Bank and served as the company’s headquarters until Aug. 25, when that designation was reassigned to the Dubuque office. The Montezuma bank remains open as a branch location.

The Dubuque office first opened in April, but additional regulatory steps were needed to officially relocate the headquarters. While in some ways an on-paper change, Capra officials said the switch also shows the bank’s dedication to the Dubuque area.

“Our leadership is based in Dubuque, and we’re extremely proud of our town,” said Capra Bank President Tyson Leyendecker. “Now, as we continue to grow and expand, we can provide more opportunities for employment and growth in our own community.”

A total of 19 people work out of the Dubuque office, and many of them have long-standing ties to the local banking scene.

In March, 15 people — including Leyendecker — left their positions at Dubuque Bank & Trust and HTLF, the holding company for DB&T, to work for Capra. Tut Fuller left HTLF last year after having served as Region 1 president of the company and as DB&T’s president and CEO before that.

The Capra team at the Dubuque office is focused on community banking, Fuller said, and leveraging local dollars and talent to support local investment and expansion.

“Local recycling of funds is the cheapest form of capital,” Fuller said. “You get deposits locally, you reinvest them and loan them out locally, and it’s good for everybody.”

Capra officials plan to carry that local-first attitude to the opening of the new branch in Lubbock. That branch is set to open Monday, Sept. 25, with an initial staff of 13 bankers led by Lubbock Market President Greg Garland.

Fuller has prior connections in Texas, having overseen HTLF banking operations in the state in his earlier position. He became familiar with the market then and sourced talent for Capra’s Texas team from people he met while working there.

“Our (local) team is a bunch of people who are unapologetically Dubuque,” Fuller said. “… In Texas, it’s the same thing, the same strategy. The team down there is super into Lubbock, Texas, Texas Tech (University) and west Texas overall. They don’t feel the need to move to Austin or Dallas. They’re proud of where they are.”

In Dubuque, Capra also recently forged a strategic alliance with another local company, Steele Capital Management. In addition to its Dubuque headquarters, Steele Capital also has offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb.

The new alliance allows Capra to refer customers to Steele Capital for wealth management and 401(k) retirement plan services that complement Capra’s private banking services, Fuller said.

Officials at Capra and Steele Capital also both highlighted the shared local ties between the two businesses, adding that the alliance signals a strong dedication to the greater Dubuque area.

“It sends a strong message that we’re committed to being local and working with folks to maintain and increase our footprint in Dubuque,” said Steele Capital Management President Michael Doyle. “… Working with Capra as they grow into this market lets us continue to grow here, as well.”

Since its acquisition of the Montezuma bank, Capra Bank’s assets have nearly tripled to current totals of nearly $140 million. Much of that growth has taken place since the April opening of the Dubuque office, Fuller said, and efforts are underway to continue that early success.

Additional branch locations could be added moving forward if suitable opportunities are identified, he said, but the focus would be on opening new bank locations rather than pursuing mergers or acquisitions.

“Our aim is to grow organically by having really great bankers in really great markets,” Fuller said. “We’re all about building a model that works really well for (Capra’s) employees and for its clients.”