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VOL. 8 | NO. 38 | Saturday, September 12, 2015

Magna Bank Prepares for New Memphis Identity

By Andy Meek

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Magna Bank in Memphis isn't set to open for business with a new name above the door for a couple more months, now that its acquisition by Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners has officially closed.

But just because it won't seem to customers like much, if anything, will change until then, the practical effects of this first major Memphis-area bank acquisition in recent memory are myriad. Indeed, that degree of change going on behind the scenes can be symbolized by the way the sign gets replaced above Magna’s doors.

Kirk Bailey, CEO of Magna Bank 

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

About two weeks before Magna will open for business after having fully converted its branding and systems to Pinnacle's – currently planned for Nov. 16 – the Magna signs will quietly be taken down.

Pinnacle's will go up, but then a kind of sleeve will cover them that allows for the continued temporary identification of the branches as Magna’s.

At the appointed time, the sleeves will be removed, formally introducing a major new banking player in the Memphis market.

"We're sending information to customers now," said Magna chairman, president and CEO Kirk Bailey, who will serve as Pinnacle's Memphis chairman. "Broadly speaking, nothing changes for customers until that weekend. Between now and then, it will be business as usual on all systems."

Behind the scenes up to that point – and especially after – it will be anything but.

Pinnacle's entry into Memphis will have come at the tail end of a six-month process that started with an announcement of the Magna deal at the end of April. Pinnacle quickly set about staffing up in Memphis, hiring eight veterans of First Tennessee Bank then a later group of bankers from other institutions.

Meanwhile, one banking source who asked not to be named said he expects Pinnacle to seek out mid-size to large corporate clients in Memphis, those with annual revenue between $50 million and $500 million. Those are the kinds of companies already banking with the likes of First Tennessee, Regions and SunTrust – and, the source said, Pinnacle would want to especially make a run at clients that could be peeled away from First Tennessee in its hometown.

It remains to be seen what Pinnacle's arrival will do to the makeup of the local customer deposit share rankings, which have tended to remain steady from one year to the next. Bankers ascribe much of what little change there is to the taking of share from each other.

As of June 30 – the most current look at the local customer deposit market share from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. – Magna stood at No. 12, with a little less than 2 percent of the $23 billion in deposits in the Memphis metro area.

As part of getting itself ready to be in a position to improve its ranking, among other things, a major systems conversion has to take place that moves customers off of Magna's system and on to Pinnacle's. That will take place in the days leading up to Nov. 16.

As part of the switchover, some minor changes may be necessary to some products – rate tweaks, for example, to conform to what Pinnacle offers, and maybe even account number changes if Magna and Pinnacle customers share the same number.

"On that Friday, we close at Magna, and then there's a massive work effort over the weekend," Bailey said.

Come Monday, customers will walk through the door underneath a different sign.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 52 151
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751
BANKRUPTCIES 37 157 618
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 77 276
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0