First Tennessee acquisition will bring products, talent to Jax

(Courtesy of Jacksonville Business Journal)

First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE: FHN), parent company of First Tennessee Bank, completed its acquisition of Capital Bank Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: CBF) Friday.

First Horizon announced the $2.2 billion acquisition in May. The merger will give First Horizon approximately $40 billion in assets, $32 billion in deposits, $27 billion in loans and 350 branches in eight states. It makes First Horizon the fourth largest regional bank in the Southeast.

“We are excited to complete the merger of First Horizon and Capital Bank Financial and expand the capabilities of our company,” Bryan Jordan, chairman and CEO of First Horizon, said in a released statement. “We are proud to merge the talented teams at First Tennessee and Capital Bank to create an even stronger regional bank that offers differentiated customer service and enhances our presence throughout our markets.”

The rise to fourth largest regional bank was a significant step, First Tennessee Market President John Schmitt told the Business Journal.

“We have catapulted quite dramatically,” he said. “We feel this gives us the size and scale to compete with just about everybody.”

First Tennessee will retain its brand name in Tennessee, where it has operated for more than 150 years, but will operate under Capital Bank outside of the state.

“We look forward to using a very strong brand in Capital Bank that travels well no matter what state you’re in,” Schmitt said, noting that the bank will begin changing signage in the second half of next year.

First Tennessee and Capital Bank did not have any overlapping branches in Northeast Florida, so the bank will continue “business as usual” here, Schmitt said. However, as the bank merges product and service offering and assesses talent, some changes may be coming to the area.

“It’s all about putting the best products and services in front of our clients,” he said. “We will move to adopt the best of class products and services.”

The merger is also unlikely to lead to many new branch locations in Northeast Florida.

“We operate in a branch-light capacity,” said Schmitt. “We’re not on every street corner like the national banks because we see the rapidly changing consumer behavior.”

Schmitt noted that the bank still offers the traditional services of branches, but relies more heavily on digital and electronic offerings.

First Tennessee believes strongly in investing in its local communities, Schmitt said, and regularly supports local nonprofits through volunteerism and financial support. First Tennessee will be delivering checks to three nonprofits in Jacksonville later today, he noted.


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