SunTrust CEO points to Richmond’s importance
Rogers says changes are a ‘reconfirmation’ of the bank’s investments here
SunTrust Banks Inc.’s decision to fold its Virginia division into a broader Mid-Atlantic division does not change its business strategy in the state, the company’s top executive said Thursday during a visit to the Richmond region.
“I would not say it is a realignment — I would say it is a reconfirmation of the investments we have made here,” said William H. Rogers Jr. the Atlanta-based company’s chairman and chief executive officer.
SunTrust announced the change in September and named Dan O’Neill as president of the Mid-Atlantic division, which also includes Maryland and the District of Columbia. The change followed the departure of Virginia division president John Stallings, who took an executive role with Richmond-based Union Bank & Trust.
SunTrust is one of the largest employers in the Richmond region, with more than 3,000 employees in the area, and Rogers said he expects the company will grow in the region.
“Richmond has been, for a long time, an important market for us,” he said.
“I can’t say for certain whether we will have more people here in the next few years, but I can say we will have more investments here,” he said. “We are creating a lot more capacity in our commercial banking opportunities.”
Rogers’ visit to Richmond included visiting clients and employees and participating in one of the University of Richmond’s C-Suite Conversations, a series of discussions at the Robins School of Business in which students interact with business leaders.
“What we have found is Richmond is a great place to recruit,” Rogers said after the UR event. “It is a business-friendly environment. You have a lot of university engagement and graduates with a lot of skill sets.”
Rogers also was promoting a program that SunTrust is offering to businesses to help their employees improve their financial wellness.
The “Momentum onUp” program offers in-person sessions and online resources to help people establish financial goals, start an emergency savings fund and manage expenses
“I think companies have done a good job talking about physical well-being, and we have made a lot of advancement,” Rogers said. “But if you poll employees, about three-fourths of them don’t think that we care, as industries, about their financial well-being.”
SunTrust first provided the program to 15,000 of its own employees before offering it to business clients. “It has had a lot of the results that we wanted to see — improved retention, improved performance and engagement,” Rogers said. “We view employerdriven financial well-being as a really key component of success.”