Pinnacle recruits noted Williamson small-biz lender

SBA specialist had been with Franklin Synergy since mid-2011

Pinnacle Financial Partners has hired one of the state’s top small-business lenders from Franklin Synergy Bank.

Jerry Woods has joined Pinnacle as senior vice president after spending two and a half years at Franklin Synergy as SBA program manager. He had joined that lender from Columbia-based Community First Bank & Trust, where he built the No. 2 SBA program in the state. He has more than three decades of banking experience, most of it with government-guaranteed lending programs.

Joining Woods at Pinnacle — as she did at Franklin Synergy — is financial advisor assistant Valerie Green. The duo is based out of 13-year-old Pinnacle’s Mallory Lane office in Cool Springs.

“Jerry’s and Valerie’s expertise at advising small businesses on their finances make them a great fit for our team,” said Chip Higgins, Pinnacle’s business banking team leader.

The hiring of Woods comes two months after Pinnacle recruited another veteran small-biz lender from SunTrust in Sumner County. The downtown-based bank has in the past two years been steadily hiring senior relationship managers in a bid to organically add $1.3 billion in loans by the end of 2014. As of Sept. 30, Pinnacle’s new hires had managed to migrate almost $700 million.

Shares of Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP) were down about 1.3 percent to $30.97 in mid-day trading Tuesday. So far this year, they’ve climbed more than 60 percent, giving the company a market cap of about $1.1 billion.