BB&T Corp. in Winston-Salem, N.C., has hired SouthTrust Bank executive Tasia Katapodis as city executive for Atlanta.

Ms. Katapodis was a group vice president at SouthTrust and managed its northwest Atlanta commercial banking region. Earlier she worked for First Union in Atlanta. And in 1989 and 1990 she was a senor BB&T lender. She has 18 years of banking experience.

BB&T, which has $38 billion of assets, is scheduled to enter the metro Atlanta retail market today with the purchase of First Citizens Corp. of Newnan, Ga. First Citizens has $421 million of assets, 13 retail branches, and one mortgage loan office.

The North Carolina company entered town last week by opening a commercial loan office, which will lend to companies in a 10-county area with up to $200 million in annual sales. Ms. Katapodis will lead a staff of seven commercial lenders and report to Alan White, executive vice president of BB&T's banking network.

BB&T also has a deal to buy $1.7 billion-asset First Liberty Financial Corp. of Macon, Ga. First Liberty has 39 retail banking branches and 13 consumer finance offices. That deal is expected to close Nov. 1.

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