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First Tennessee Hires Four for Its Growing Niche Lines

First Tennessee Bank in Memphis has recruited a quartet of executives for its expanding specialty banking lines that serve the franchising, healthcare, music, and transportation industries.

For several years, the $27.3 billion-asset bank, a unit of First Horizon, has been seeking growth in commercial lending niches like these with less competition.

The bank said Tuesday that Todd Jones, former a senior managing director for brand management at General Electric Capital Corp., now leads its franchise finance team. Last month the bank acquired about $535 million in restaurant franchise loans from GE Capital.

Brooks Hubbard is the head of First Tennessee's specialty healthcare finance group focused on financing the acquisition of industry companies by private equity firms.

Hubbard previously served as managing director of health care banking at Regions Financial in Birmingham, Ala.

A former managing director at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta, Andrew Kintz established First Tennessee's music industry banking group, based in Nashville.

Lee Palm, previously president of commercial finance for Talmer Bank and Trust in Troy, Mich., manages First Tennessee's new equipment finance banking group for business aviation, construction, marine, rail and trucking finance.

"Our specialty banking businesses have traditionally been among our strongest, and we are building on that success," David Popwell, president of banking for parent company First Horizon, said in the release.

The company's third-quarter earnings included an 18% increase in average loans from a year earlier, generated primarily from specialty lending areas such as commercial real estate and private client wealth management.  

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