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.

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