Friday, May 30, 2014

SunTrust names Charlotte wealth management head

SunTrust Banks said it has a new head for its Charlotte office that provides wealth-management services to affluent athletes and entertainers.

John Hondros has been promoted to managing director of the Charlotte and Daytona Beach, Fla., offices of the Atlanta-based bank's Sports and Entertainment Specialty Group, SunTrust said.

Hondros is based in Charlotte and has been with SunTrust since 2004. Most recently, he was a client adviser and senior vice president for the bank.

The specialty group is a division of the bank's private-wealth-management business. The group provides a range of services to the music, sports and film industries, from mortgage and aircraft financing to investment advice and retirement planning, according to SunTrust's website.

In the Charlotte area, the specialty group's offices are in SouthPark and Mooresville. According to SunTrust, the group employs 10 people in North Carolina. A breakdown for Charlotte was not immediately available.

The group's other hubs are in Atlanta; Nashville, Tenn.; Boston; Los Angeles; San Diego; and San Francisco.

It's not unique for banks to have wealth management teams focused on specialty areas. Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit, for example, has teams that also cater to athletes and entertainers.

Wealth management has been an area of growth for banks at a time when other sources of revenue, such as mortgage lending, have been declining. Bank of America’s overall wealth-management business earned $3 billion in 2013, the most in the company’s history.

In recent months, banks and investment firms in the Charlotte area have been staffing up to serve the baby boom generation as it hits retirement age. The hiring also comes as the number of millionaires in Charlotte is poised to grow: A Nielsen Co. study in May of last year predicted that the number of millionaire households in Charlotte would rise by 18 percent in the next five years.