New West Tenn. President at First Tennessee

The musical chairs at First Horizon/First Tennessee continues apace.

Bruce Hopkins has been named West Tennessee president for First Tennessee Bank, replacing Mike Edwards, who has left the company.

In addition to his role as president, Hopkins will continue as manager of First Tennessee’s private client, trust and wealth management services in Memphis.

It’s one of several key personnel moves of late at the largest banking company based in Tennessee.

As previously reported on this site, the parent company of First Tennessee Bank has begun implementing a round of executive-level shuffling throughout the company.

Soon-to-be gone is Charles Burkett, president of banking at First Tennessee, who will give up his title at the end of June and retire at the end of the year. First Horizon National Corp. issued a news release announcing Burkett’s departure.
But among others on the way out are Frank Shriner, president of the Southeast market for First Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Newt Raff, who’s headed the bank’s Northeast Tennessee market.

Those executives were among a flurry of new faces installed in September 2009 into new positions throughout the bank, when First Tennessee’s parent tapped new leadership for markets whose boundaries carved the state into five sections.

Included in that September 2009 shuffling was tapping Pam Fansler to lead the bank’s Knoxville market. She’ll continue in that role as some of the bank’s markets in East Tennessee are consolidated, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The changes disclosed this week include consolidating those five regional markets into three. Doing that, plus restructuring some of the company’s business lines, will help First Horizon work toward continued improvement of its efficiency ratio.

That metric measures how much money the company spends for each dollar it takes in, and First Tennessee’s parent has made it known it’s looking for costs it can remove from the organization.

Consolidating executive functions – and, thus, eliminating some of those salaries in the process – is one way of getting there.

National Sportscaster is ‘Thrilled for Memphis’

In Wednesday’s edition of The Daily News, I covered a speech Arnold Perl gave to the Memphis SIOR about selling the city to potential clients.

He touted Memphis’ recent successes, evidenced by the city’s new leadership, the recent Airport Cities World Conference & Exhibition, and the Grizzlies playoff run.

The Tigers’ season tickets seemed to always sell out, he said, but never the Grizzlies’. Now, it appears the city has come full circle.

“We built (the FedExForum) to host championships,” Perl said. “So we could give frenzied fans who live in our community the same luxury amenity and excitement and sense of purpose that you have with the Lakers in Los Angeles or the Bulls in Chicago, and now we have it here.”

Matt Devlin, national sportscaster and former Grizzlies play-by-play announcer, spoke to Perl before he went on the air for Monday’s game, expressing his appreciation for Memphis’ progress.

“He said, ‘Arnold, this is special. I’m not going to say it on the air, but I’m just thrilled for Memphis because I was here (doing the play-by-play for Memphis when the Forum originally opened). Memphis has come a long way in a lot of areas.’”

For more on the city’s support of its playoff team, click here.

Changes at First Horizon/First Tennessee

One week after hosting a brief, low-key shareholder’s meeting in Memphis, the parent company of First Tennessee Bank has begun implementing a round of executive-level shuffling throughout the company.

Soon-to-be gone is Charles Burkett, president of banking at First Tennessee, who will give up his title at the end of June and retire at the end of the year. First Horizon National Corp. issued a news release announcing Burkett’s departure.

But among others on the way out are Frank Shriner, president of the Southeast market for First Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Newt Raff, who’s headed the bank’s Northeast Tennessee market.

Those executives were among a flurry of new faces installed in September 2009 into new positions throughout the bank, when First Tennessee’s parent tapped new leadership for markets whose boundaries carved the state into five sections.

Included in that September 2009 shuffling was tapping Pam Fansler to lead the bank’s Knoxville market. She’ll continue in that role as some of the bank’s markets in East Tennessee are consolidated, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The changes disclosed this week include consolidating those five regional markets into three. Doing that, plus restructuring some of the company’s business lines, will help First Horizon work toward continued improvement of its efficiency ratio.

That metric measures how much money the company spends for each dollar it takes in, and First Tennessee’s parent has made it known it’s looking for costs it can remove from the organization.

Consolidating executive functions – and, thus, eliminating some of those salaries in the process – is one way of getting there.

Davis-Kidd News

A few points about today’s Davis-Kidd news:

Tom Prewitt, the president of Laurelwood Shopping Center, told me today he personally loves the book store and was not going to let it go dark. And it won’t – thanks in large part to his support, Davis-Kidd will remain open, pending the entry of a sale order in a Kentucky bankruptcy court Wednesday afternoon.

The store will have to change its name. But it signed a new 10-year lease today.

Neil Van Uum, who founded Davis-Kidd’s parent company, has lost that company (The Joseph-Beth Group) to a new Kentucky ownership group that will now run 3 of the 5 remaining Joseph-Beth stores.

A fourth, in Virginia, is being transferred to Books-A-Million.

The fifth, in Memphis, will now be run as a standalone store by Van Uum personally.

“I want to first apologize for all that my staff here at the store has had to endure,” Van Uum said in a statement released Wednesday. ” This has been a hugely trying 6 months and looked like it was very much headed to a tragic conclusion. Thankfully, with the support of Tom Prewitt, the owner of Laurelwood Shopping Center, we were able to save the store.”

“I am excited about the future direction of our store. Eddie Burton and his team are ready to step up and take the store forward. We are fortunate to come through this well positioned financially and look forward to getting our inventory back in shape. In addition, we have plans coming together for a complete remodel of the store in the fall.”

Mark Herbison One of “Ten People Who Made a Difference in the South”

“There might not be a more successful major market economic developer in the South right now than the Memphis Chamber’s Mark Herbison,” says industry publication Southern Business & Development.

Herbison is the Greater Memphis Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development and a key point-man – often the point-man – on just about any economic development deal of consequence the chamber is involved with.

Herbison made Southern Business & Developments list of “Ten People Who Made a Difference in the South.”

From the publication’s write-up about him:

“Last year Memphis earned ‘Major Market of the Year’ honors with 115 points in the 2010 Southern Business & Development 100. It was the second ‘Major Market of the Year’ for Memphis in the last 10 years, which is a pretty good record considering there are 18 major markets in the South vying for the honor, including Charlotte, Nashville, Austin, Raleigh and Orlando, all economic development heavyweights.

“And Memphis’ performance this year may beat last year’s (results will be published in the 2011 SB&D 100, which comes out on June 22). In February, Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi announced it will build a $200 million plant in Memphis. In December, Memphis was chosen by Electrolux for a $190 million facility that will employ more than 1,200 workers. Also last year, Pinnacle Airlines decided to move its headquarters to downtown Memphis, the largest downtown development since AutoZone brought its headquarters to downtown Memphis. There might not be a more successful major market economic developer in the South right now than the Memphis Chamber’s Mark Herbison.”

Dansette

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