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.
Murfreesboro banker Paula Mansfield has been named to the board of directors of Athena International, the global nonprofit focused on women leadership. Mansfield is senior vice president at First Tennessee in Murfreesboro and has more than 30 years of industry experience. She is a past president of RutherfordCABLE and has been over the years, among other things, an Athena Award judge for the Young Professional category and the traditional Athena Award category in separate years.
First Tennessee Bank is ramping up its presence in the Mid-Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia and moving to a larger building in Raleigh, N.C. to make room for 10 additional employees and new services, the company announced today.
This will mark First Tennessee’s first notable expansion since the mid-2000s when new branch locations were built throughout the state.
David Popwell, First Tennessee president of banking, called the move a “reorganization” and said the bank is committed to growing its footprint outside of Tennessee and into both North Carolina (Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh) and Virginia (Richmond).
“Our growth and success in the Mid-Atlantic Region has resulted from combining experienced, responsive professionals with a complete set of financial products and the flexible operating framework of a boutique banking operation,” Popwell said in a press release. "The Mid-Atlantic Region shares many characteristics of our Tennessee regions. We are pleased by the response in the Raleigh market, which allows us to enhance the depth of our service to meet the expanding needs of businesses and individuals."
Expanded services will include private client banking, wealth management, corporate and commercial lending and commercial real estate, according to the release.
First Tennessee, a subsidiary of Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. (Ticker: FHN), suffered massive losses in First Horizon’s mortgage division during the Great Recession. The bank sold off its mortgage division and has been in recovery mode ever since. It is now providing mortgages for property owners in Tennessee.
- BRASWELL, ROBERT
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