Does He Have Matching Curtains?

Some people decorate their bedroom walls with posters of their favorite athletes or movie stars; others plaster the ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars.

Not Kelly King.

Instead, the chairman and chief executive of BB&T Corp. gazes at a list of the credit metrics that have improved at his Winston-Salem, N.C., company before drifting off to sleep.

At least that's what he told a group of investors and analysts during a presentation on Wednesday at a financial services conference while reviewing a slide showing fourth-quarter declines in delinquencies, nonperforming assets, chargeoffs and other credit measures.

"This is my favorite slide," he said. "I've got a copy of this posted right above my bed on my ceiling, so when I wake up in the middle of the night, I'll just look up at that. It's a great slide."

In addition to wall art, the slide also makes a good souvenir.

"I hope you all take a copy of that home and show it to all your investors," King said.

B of A, the Brand King? Really?

When the London consultancy Brand Finance PLC declared Bank of America Corp. the most valuable banking brand in the world this week, the decision was surely greeted with more than a few raised eyebrows.

After all, the Charlotte, N.C., banking company has had a fair share of mud slung at it in recent months, with its mortgage servicing problems, credit losses and declining revenue dominating the headlines.

In theory, such negative publicity should take the value of the brand down, said Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America's Research Group in Charleston, S.C.

"At any given time some of these banks have negative publicity," he said. "It may be a fine brand, but [if] it gets negatively impacted by the media for six months [that] takes the value of the brand down. I would not have thought that Bank of America would be the No. 1 brand."

One financial institution that also received some bad press last year and fell on the list was Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The investment bank dropped from seventh place to 16th.

A deep dive into Brand Finance's methodology reveals that it's more about numbers and forecasts than consumer perception. The company uses a complicated model that combines financial and revenue data with predictions of future royalty income.

Or, in its own words, Brand Finance "determines the value of the brand in relation to the royalty rate that would be payable for its use were it owned by a third party. The royalty rate is applied to future revenue to determine an earnings stream that is attributable to the brand."

The company said the brand value is conceptually similar to a credit rating.

It might also be important to note that the study named the most valuable brands in 2011 — not last year. Maybe B of A will get some love yet.

Shine Up Those Bootstraps

The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans on Thursday named James Rohr, the chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group Inc., as a recipient of its namesake award for 2011.

The association, which "is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles," said it chose Rohr because of his "humble beginnings" and community service.

Born in 1948 in Cleveland to parents who ran a "fish house," Rohr lost his father at the age of 10 and struggled to help his mother keep the restaurant going.

Rohr rose from there, accumulating prestigious degrees, honors for civic service and of course, the top job at PNC. He'll be honored at an April 8 dinner in Washington along with a host of other prominent Americans ranging from Fox News Channel's chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes, to the actor Leonardo DeCaprio.

Times Change (Back)

Speaking of honors … It wasn't too long ago that financial institutions were being ridiculed for having their names affixed to sports stadiums and golf tournaments. Now BBVA Compass, the U.S. unit of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, is getting awards for such marketing.

The readers of an outfit called NYSportsJournalism.com, which tracks marketing in the sports world, overwhelmingly chose BBVA Compass as "Sports Marketer of the Year." Given the company's recent push to become "the bank of sports," it's hard to disagree.

There's the deal with ESPN, the sponsorship of the BBVA Compass Bowl, the partnerships with the NCAA and perhaps above all, BBVA's broad-ranging sponsorship of NBA activities on and off the court.

As the official bank of the NBA, BBVA paid an undisclosed price for the distinction and associated perks. The package includes a partnership with the NBA's community-service efforts known as "NBA Cares" and a national tour promoting the NBA and the BBVA Compass brand, complete with a tractor-trailer that turns into a full-size basketball court.

Those initiatives add up to some of "the most progressive and dynamic multimedia sports marketing-related strategies of 2010," NYSportsJournalism.com wrote.

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