John A. Allison 4th completed the year as chairman and CEO of an $11 billion-asset bank. Sometime in the first quarter, he will assume command of a $19 billion-asset company.

The second largest bank deal of 1994, struck between Mr. Allison's BB&T Financial Corp. and Southern National Corp., carries both opportunity and pitfalls for Mr. Allison, who is only 45. The opportunity is to make the new Southern National, which starts out with the top-ranked deposit share in North Carolina and third-largest in South Carolina, a true regional power.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.