| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 28 U.S. regional banks are
increasing market share by expanding into new geographies, as
well as upgrading talent when adding new roles, according to
banking sources. At least four regional banks have established
new corporate banking offices outside of existing footprints, in
pursuit of growth opportunities.
By extension, when building new teams or expanding existing
platforms and capabilities, banks are often tapping new hires
armed with bulge bracket investment banking experience.
With such hires comes a new book of business, and new client
relationships, said one regional banker.
"All the regionals are trying to grow. For corporate bank
coverage groups, it's all about attracting new clients and
getting them in the door," the banker added.
Banks, including a trio of lenders based in the southeastern
U.S. - Atlanta-based SunTrust Robinson Humphrey (STRH),
Birmingham, Alabama-based Regions Financial Corp and
Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Corp - have each opened corporate
banking offices in Chicago, to expand offerings to middle market
clients in those geographies. Providence, RI-based RBS Citizens
is broadening its reach in the southeast.
"RBS Citizens is expanding its corporate finance and capital
markets capabilities in Charlotte, with both industry focused
corporate finance and capital markets professionals, including
Ted Swimmer, head of capital markets," said Bob Rubino,
executive vice president and head of corporate finance and
capital markets for RBS Citizens Financial Group.
STRH, which targets companies with revenues upwards of $100
million, also established corporate banking offices in San
Francisco and Dallas, in addition to the Chicago office, the
bank announced in November.
"There is a big opportunity to provide both core banking
services and world-class IB capabilities, and we think STRH is
well-positioned to seize it," said John Gregg, president and
chief executive officer of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
The bank is focused on increasing investment banking market
share nationally, as well as on providing a comprehensive set of
investment banking and capital markets services to mid-sized
companies, he noted.
The Dallas-based Southwest office, San Francisco-based
Western office and Chicago-based Midwest office will complement
SunTrust's existing presence in all three markets.
Regions Bank, as reported by Thomson Reuters LPC, expanded
to Chicago with the opening of a new corporate banking office.
The team is focused on serving the financing and operating needs
of companies with revenues of greater than $250 million in the
greater Chicago area.
In addition to the opening of its Chicago office, as part of
the development of its Corporate Banking segment, Regions has
also added corporate bankers in a number of other markets,
including Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville and south Florida.
Meanwhile, BB&T Capital Markets named a new five-person
corporate banking team based in Chicago, representing a
continued "acceleration" of the lender's national growth
strategy, it said in an announcement last fall.
The team will be central to the development of BB&T's
overall Midwest corporate client base, the bank said, and will
also serve as the base for its national effort to serve
companies in the food, agribusiness and beverage industries.
With expansion comes the need for new hires. Regionals are
tapping banking veterans with capital markets experience, as
well as strong industry and credit expertise, market sources
Ted Heldring is leading STRH's corporate banking team in
Chicago. He joined STRH from JP Morgan, where he was most
recently head of the Chicago office for debt capital markets.
Leading the San Francisco-based team is Jim Deichen, a
long-time veteran of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, most
recently as the West Coast head of technology corporate banking.
In Dallas, Clint Bryant who joined STRH from Fifth Third Bank
will lead the team.
All three offices are expected to build out teams, the bank
said. Other banks have also picked up talent. In particular,
former bankers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan
are surfacing at some regional banks, middle market lenders
In this slow growth economic environment, combined with a
certain degree of disintermediation in the banking sector by
institutional investors, as well as regulatory constraints
expected to curb lending activity to some degree, banks have
concluded that organic revenue growth alone will not drive
overall growth, said a second regional banker.
Industry coverage and geographic coverage expansion provide
a path for growth. With zero presence, growth is achieved with
the first loan, he noted.