Metropolitan Expands Into Nashville

By Andy Meek

Metropolitan Bank has solidified its long-planned foray into Nashville with the announcement of its first office location in the city and the hiring of a senior managing director for the Nashville area.

The bank’s Nashville team will work out of an office in Brentwood while the search continues for an office in Nashville proper.

Meanwhile, the bank also has added senior managing director Sarah Johnson as part of the Nashville team that includes Nashville president Bill Menkel. Johnson is an 18-year veteran of Nashville’s banking industry who most recently served as a vice president and commercial lender for Reliant Bank after various roles at National Bank of Commerce and SunTrust Bank.

The selection of its president, first managing director and initial office space in the city represents big first steps for Metropolitan in Nashville, a market where Metropolitan founding president and CEO Curt Gabardi has talked about expanding into long before now.

At the end of September, Metropolitan announced the hire of Menkel, who has three decades of banking experience including 15 as an executive at NBC. At the same time, Metropolitan said it was canvassing the Nashville area for an office location and looking for talent to staff it with.

Johnson said she was attracted to the bank, which is co-headquartered in Memphis and Ridgeland, Miss., because of its dynamic story and success in growing during one of the toughest periods in memory for the financial services industry.

“The Metropolitan strategy has always been to attract the highest-quality talent, and the recruitment of commercial and mortgage bankers remains a high priority for Metropolitan,” Menkel said. “Sarah has done a tremendous job in her career and has developed a great reputation in the Nashville market.”

The month before its Nashville announcement, Metropolitan expanded its Memphis presence. The bank for the first time brought a mortgage team to the Bluff City.

In other news, it’s also got a new office at 5264 Poplar Ave. and held an open house there a few days ago. That site is the former headquarters of Loeb Properties and will serve as an anchor for Metropolitan’s commercial and private client banking teams.

Earlier this year, Metropolitan announced the launch of enhanced mobile banking service offerings including a mobile banking application and SMS text banking for all account holders.

That app is now available across several major phone platforms – the iPhone, Android and Blackberry.