Monday, January 27, 2014

SunTrust Banks hires director for Charlotte corporate banking operation

Kenneth Harris
SunTrust Banks said it has hired a former Wells Fargo banker to serve as managing director of corporate banking for the Charlotte region, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Atlanta-based SunTrust said Monday that the hiring of Kenneth Harris marks the bank's latest move to build its corporate banking operation in the Carolinas. The hiring of Harris comes after the bank relocated its Mid-Atlantic corporate banking headquarters from Richmond, Va., to Charlotte last year.

At Wells Fargo, Harris was responsible for new business development and middle-market relationship management in the Charlotte region, SunTrust said. Harris will work for SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust's corporate and investment banking services subsidiary.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is focused on middle-market clients. Its corporate banking services include helping companies raise capital and manage risk.

SunTrust said it has added other corporate bankers to its Charlotte operation in recent months, and more hires are expected.

In September, the bank hired former SunTrust banker Jenna Kelly, who returned to SunTrust from Fifth Third Bank. Kelly will help Harris oversee the Charlotte region. She also covers the Triangle and Triad areas.

In December, SunTrust hired Paul Keller, formerly of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Keller will serve as senior credit officer for the Mid-Atlantic corporate banking division.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's Charlotte employees currently work at 6836 Morrison Blvd., near SouthPark mall. Those employees, and other SunTrust staff members at the Morrison Boulevard site, will be relocated to the bank's new regional headquarters building once it's finished later this year. The new headquarters, in the Sharon Square mixed-use development, is about two blocks away from the Morrison Boulevard site.

The bank said Monday the new headquarters will house 96 SunTrust Robinson Humphrey employees. Of those, roughly 16 will work in corporate banking. So far, 13 of the 16 have been hired, the banks said.

SunTrust's Mid-Atlantic division stretches from Maryland to South Carolina. Jason Cagle, who heads the division, told the Observer last year the Carolinas market is one in which SunTrust has not had "a very focused calling effort on corporate clients. This clearly is our biggest opportunity for market share."

SunTrust is seeking to grow its corporate banking business in other parts of the U.S. In November, it announced the establishment of corporate banking offices in Dallas, San Francisco and Chicago.