Pinnacle Financial Partners and United Community Bank Executives Discuss Current Financial Risks

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, May 31st, 2019

The Upper South Carolina Chapter of the Risk Management Association (RMA) held a panel discussion with three prominent financial services executives on Wednesday, May 29 in Greenville, S.C. to discuss challenges facing the industry. The fourth annual panel included Lynn Harton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Community Banks, Inc.; Terry Turner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Financial Partners; and Neil E. Grayson, Chair of the Financial Services Corporate and Regulatory Practice at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP. The structured Q&A was moderated by Allen Gillespie, President and Managing Partner of Investments of FinTrust Investment Advisors.

“It is so important for members of our industry to come together in a non-competitive way to discuss the significant issues facing us today,” said Harton. “As a longtime member of RMA, I value the ability to discuss the many risks our industry faces in an open discussion that ultimately helps people stay informed and makes the industry safer.”

Gillespie began the discussion by asking both Turner and Harton about the significance of culture to their organizational success. Both executives agreed that intentional cultivation of culture drives strong performance. Turner said that Pinnacle aims for an authentic culture through their emphasis on hiring bankers with significant experience while also setting – and achieving - high retention goals. Harton added that at United, their goals are aligned with their culture, which has been a big part of the bank’s success during a period of growth.

The panel discussed also several different topics that present risk to banks, including technology and fintech competitors, changes in regulations, mergers, credit, the economy and the current cycle. As an advisor to a number of different financial institutions, Grayson offered an external perspective on the trends he sees when working with the industry as a whole. On the topic of regulation, Grayson said he believes that within the new regulatory environment, the tension and stress at the regulator level has been lifted somewhat, paving the way for positive working relationships between banks and regulators.