First Tennessee Bank to open in Mount Pleasant

By Ashley Barker 
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 17, 2013

First Tennessee Bank is expanding to South Carolina in 2014, according to a news release.

First Tennessee, a subsidiary of First Horizon National Corp., will open an office at 28 Bridgeside Blvd., Suite 100, in Mount Pleasant. It will provide private client banking, wealth management resources, commercial financial services and commercial real estate financing, the company said.

Senior Vice President and Market Executive Rotcher Watkins, of Charlotte, will lead the Charleston office. Watkins said the office should open in March, 90 days after required Office of the Comptroller of the Currency applications are completed.

Watkins will be joined by Andy Thomas, senior vice president and commercial banking relationship manager; Allston Moore, senior vice president and private client team leader; and Shelly Clark, private client relationship manager.

The leadership team is already working out of a temporary executive suite in Mount Pleasant while the OCC forms are completed. Deposits aren’t being accepted yet, but members of the team have been recruiting customers since July, Watkins said.

First Tennessee Bank started looking to expand in one of the three regions of South Carolina about nine months ago, according to Watkins. He said the bank has been taking care of its S.C. customers from outside the state for many years.

“Our desire to be in Charleston was important because of the great bankers we found and the economy that is growing here,” Watkins said. “We saw an opportunity with the port growing and large, multinational companies, like Boeing, growing in Charleston.”

He said an additional two to three employees will be hired to help open the company, and as the business grows, more people will be added.

“First Tennessee is easy to do business with, and we believe our differentiated service will enable us to continue our growth and success in the region,” said John Fox, president of the mid-Atlantic region of First Tennessee Bank, in a statement. “Charleston shares characteristics with other markets in the mid-Atlantic, so we’re building on our success.”

The Mount Pleasant location will join the company’s mid-Atlantic region, which includes First Tennessee offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, N.C., and Richmond, Va. The company, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary next year, said there are more than 170 locations in and around Tennessee.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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