Most Powerful Women in Banking: Sandy Pierce, Huntington Bancshares

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Senior EVP, Private Client Group, Regional Banking Director and Chair of Michigan

When Sandy Pierce was 9 years old, she witnessed tanks rolling down her street in Detroit’s Poletown neighborhood during the 1967 race riots. “I lived in a very diverse neighborhood, so I didn’t really understand what was happening,” she said in a 2017 interview with Detroit Public TV.

Despite this and other formative experiences growing up in the Motor City, the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Detroit particularly hard early on, stands out.

Pierce recalls learning of the stay-at-home orders in March and pondering what the lockdown would mean for business and life in general. She took inspiration from the words of Huntington Bancshares founder H. W. Huntington from more than a century ago: “In prosperity, be prudent. In adversity, be patient.”

With responsibility for multiple corporatewide lines of business and regional banking operations, not to mention serving as chair of Michigan, prudence and patience were essential. “It was the inspiration I needed to be a part of the solution without surfacing the fear inside me,” Pierce said.

So far, so good, as far as her boss is concerned. “She has successfully navigated her complex and diverse business segments through this unprecedented period, and I have relied on her expertise and partnership as we work together to lead the entire bank,” said Stephen Steinour, Huntington’s chief executive.

As director of the $109 billion-asset company’s Private Client Group, Pierce oversees Huntington Private Bank, which manages $18 billion in assets and has $12 billion in deposits and loans. She also oversees Huntington Insurance, the fifth-largest bank-owned insurance agency in the United States and Huntington Auto Finance and RV/Marine, which accounts for nearly 20% of Huntington’s balance sheet.

For the first time, American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking celebration is open to the whole financial community. Join us virtually October 6-8 to hear our 2020 honorees' stories and experiences. Register here.

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Regional banks Private Client Services Huntington Bancshares Sandy Pierce Women in Banking