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VOL. 11 | NO. 22 | Saturday, June 2, 2018

Pinnacle Bank Maps More Growth, Additional Hires in Memphis Market

By Michael Waddell

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With new bank branches and loan production offices planned locally, new hires and increased production numbers, Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners is making an impact on the Memphis banking market following its acquisition of Magna Bank in 2015.

Pinnacle Financial Partners’ Whitehaven loan production office, 4403 Elvis Presley Blvd., is one of four the Nashville-based bank has opened this year. (Memphis News/Houston Cofield)

“Pinnacle is a growth company, and we continue to do things to grow our business share here in the Memphis market,” said Pinnacle’s Memphis chairman, Kirk Bailey.

In the first quarter of this year, the bank grew its loans by $104 million and deposits were up $109 million compared to last year. A key piece of Pinnacle’s growth strategy is to aggressively hire experienced bankers in the marketplace.

“We believe when we hire experienced bankers that their business eventually follows them over,” Bailey said. “Our primary fuel for growth is really through hiring. So we have an active pipeline of people we’re talking to, and that will produce some more hires as the year goes on and also in 2019.”

So far this year, Pinnacle has hired eight producers to generate residential mortgage loans, commercial real estate loans, small-business loans, and commercial and industrial loans. Overall, the bank employs more than 160 people locally.

Acquisitions also remain part of the strategy for further expansion.

“We’re regularly and actively looking at new markets to acquire banks in,” Bailey said. “We’re interested in the Atlanta area as well as Northern Virginia up to and including the Washington, D.C., area.”

The bank opened four new loan production offices earlier this year, with three being in the local market: a Bartlett location in late February, a Whitehaven office in March and an Olive Branch office in April. A Dallas, Texas, location also opened in February.

“When Pinnacle acquired Magna in 2015, Magna was positioned (as) more of a suburban bank. So when Pinnacle looked at our distribution, we didn’t have much of a presence actually in the inner city at all,” said Herman Strickland, head of Pinnacle’s client advisory group in Memphis. “It was important to Pinnacle that we have access across the community.”

Since the bank could not get full branches up and running fast enough in certain parts of the city, one alternative was to try out a new loan production office concept.

“We wanted to make sure the offices were located in low- to moderate-income census tracts,” Strickland said. “The primary things we want to address are small-business lending and mortgage lending. It can be more difficult for small-business owners and homebuyers to find bankers to move into that advisory role for those neighborhoods, and that’s the strength that we want to bring – access to what Pinnacle really values, which is that advisory role.”

The 4,000-square-foot Whitehaven office is considered the flagship, with a Pinnacle Learning Center that seats more than 20 people. Already, the center has been a big hit with the local community.

“That space we use internally and also make it available to people in the community that need gathering space,” Strickland said. “Because we don’t have tellers at the Whitehaven office, we wanted to create opportunities to get the community into the space other than just when they need a loan.”

Future Pinnacle loan production offices could pop up in the Hickory Hill area as well as Binghampton or North Memphis, and the bank is also looking at two additional markets outside of Memphis for potential loan offices for commercial real estate production.

Pinnacle plans to continue adding bank branches in the Memphis area over the next few years and is actively scouting locations around town.

“We have a new traditional bank branch that’s scheduled to open either late this year or in early 2019 in Midtown,” Bailey said. “And we’re looking at an additional bank branch in Bartlett, and Collierville is also on our radar for the future.”

The new 4,000-square-foot Midtown branch at 155 Rozelle St., which will be its sixth branch in the Memphis area, will be built from the ground up. Linkous Construction could get started on the work by next month.

Expansion also is planned for the bank’s Memphis headquarters in the Ridgeway Center at 949 S. Shady Grove Road, which houses a full banking office and drive-thru.

“We have 35,000 square feet in this building, and we’re adding another 3,000 square feet to accommodate 12 new hires,” Bailey said.

Construction will start on June 1 and is expected to take about 90 days for buildout.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173