President, James P. Simmons & Associates advises financial service companies and he has some experience to draw upon. President Bush was on the board of a Midland, Texas bank that Simmons headed in the 50s. Later, Simmons ran the United Bank of Arizona for 25 years. Simmons sold United Bank for $334 million in 87 to London-based Standard Charter. Shortly thereafter, several of Uniteds' biggest borrowers defaulted, causing huge losses. Standard then sued United's accounting firm, Price Waterhouse, for signing off on financial books that hid so many bad loans. Standard won a $341 million from a jury, but state judges overturned that verdict. Went from president of a small bank in west Texas — where he was a close friend of George H.W. Bush — to chairman, president and chief executive officer of the parent of United Bank of Arizona. After the company was purchased in 1987 by London’s Standard Chartered PLC, at the dawn of the interstate-banking era, Simmons briefly served as chairman and CEO of Valley National Bank of Arizona. Also was a key member of the Phoenix 40, a group of influential business and political leaders formed in 1975 to provide a plan for the Valley amid its brisk growth. After attending college in New Mexico and serving as a Naval lieutenant during World War II, Simmons earned an MBA from Harvard. Simmons sat on the boards of Del Webb Corp., Arizona Public Service, Holsum Bakery, Shamrock Foods and other local companies. He also was associated with various local charities and civic groups and served as acting CEO of Samaritan Health Services, the precursor to Banner Health.