It looks like Nashville was kind to First Tennessee Bank in the second quarter. The bank's parent company, First Horizon National Corp., said its Middle Tennessee loan book grew by 8 percent in the three months ended June 30. That was double the company's overall growth rate.
First Tennessee Bank is getting serious about building a commercial presence in Houston, the nation's fifth-largest metro area. The bank has recruited former Whitney Bank and Sovereign Bank regional executive Gary Olander to lead its efforts and build a team there. Houston becomes the fifth bank region for First Tennessee, joining three in in Tennessee and the Mid-Atlantic.
"Houston is one of the most exciting, diverse communities in the country, and the Texas economy is expanding more than twice as fast as the national rate," said Bryan Jordan, First Horizon's chairman and CEO. "Businesses in Texas are benefitting from income and employment rates that are growing faster than the nation's as a whole, and manufacturers are increasingly taking advantage of Houston's location to more efficiently distribute their goods. We see this as a great time to introduce First Tennessee Bank to the business leaders of Houston."
CapStar Bank has recruited a veteran lender with experience across the state to lead its commercial real estate group. Lee Hunter comes to five-year-old CapStar after leading the Memphis CRE team for First Tennessee Bank. He will continue to be based in Memphis, where he has lived for more than two decades.
“Lee Hunter has been a leader in commercial real estate both here in Nashville and in Memphis over his entire career,” said Ken Webb, chief development officer for CapStar. “We look forward to adding a CapStar presence across the state of Tennessee. With 25 years of CRE experience, Lee is well-suited to lead our team.”
Hunter is a Nashville native whose first position in commercial real estate was with Maryland Farms Development Co. He later worked at the former NationsBank and First American Bank organizations before joining First Tennessee.