The planned merger of regional banks BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc. will result in some management jobs for the combined company being moved out of the Richmond region.
SunTrust confirmed this week that it plans to locate the leadership team for the combined company’s mortgage business in Greensboro, N.C., which will mean relocating leadership positions from SunTrust Mortgage operations in South Richmond.
The announcement, first reported Thursday by Richmond BizSense, comes a little more than three months after the two banks announced plans to combine in a $66 billion, all-stock deal that would create the sixth-largest bank in the United States by assets and deposits.
The merger is expected to close later this year and likely will lead to hundreds of branch closings and job reductions, as the companies have said that combining their operations will eliminate about $1.6 billion in annual costs by 2022.
“As part of our planning for the proposed merger of equals, we’ve made the decision to locate the mortgage leadership team for the proposed combined company in Greensboro, N.C.,” SunTrust said in a statement.
Moving the mortgage leadership team will mean “two or three dozen positions may be relocated” over the next two years, the bank said.
The group that will relocate includes Todd Chamberlain, a SunTrust executive vice president who was named the leader of its mortgage division in early 2018.
The company did not say how many other employees work in the division in Richmond and how many might be affected.
“The combined mortgage business will continue to have a significant presence in both Richmond, Virginia, and Greenville, South Carolina,” SunTrust said.
Jennifer Wakefield, the interim president and CEO at the Greater Richmond Partnership, the region's economic development organization, said changes are expected with any merger.
"This doesn't come as a surprise," she said. "However, even with the loss of the leadership team of the divisional headquarters, I believe there will still be a significant number of middle-office jobs. Both BB&T and SunTrust have been long-term community champions and I don't expect that to change throughout the merger process."
Meanwhile, the pending BB&T-SunTrust merger appears to be impacting one part of BB&T’s operations in Richmond.
Three top investment bankers with BB&T Capital Markets in Richmond have left the firm and joined global investment banking firm Jefferies.
W. Keith Prusek, Hugh Rabb and Karl Kirkeby, who had been part of the Logistics and Transportation team at BB&T Capital Markets, joined Jefferies last month, according to the LinkedIn pages for Rabb and Kirkeby.
The three could not be reached for comment.
Rabb is now global joint head of Logistics and Transportation investment banking at Jefferies, his LinkedIn page said. He had been a managing director at BB&T Capital Markets since June 2005.
Kirkeby is a Jefferies senior vice president. He had been at BB&T Capital Markets since 2015 and was at Harris Williams & Co., a Richmond-based investment banking firm, for eight years before that.
Prusek also is global joint head of Logistics and Transportation team at Jefferies, according to sources. He was co-head of Logistics and Transportation team at BB&T Capital Markets, where he had worked since July 2006. His LinkedIn page has not been updated to reflect his move to Jefferies.
David R. White, BB&T’s vice president of corporate communications, declined to say if the three had left BB&T Capital Markets, saying the company doesn’t comment on the employment status of its employees citing privacy concerns.
“BB&T is committed to this segment and remains an active middle market investment bank focused on the logistics and transportation industry,” White added.