In the Running

John Allison, who retired this week as BB&T Corp.'s chief executive but remains its chairman, could be in line for one last honor for his stewardship of the Winston-Salem, N.C., companyMr. Allison is one of four finalists for Morningstar Inc.'s 2008 CEO of the Year award. Pat Dorsey, the research company's director of stock analysis, said in a press release that the longtime CEO is being recognized for a conservative business approach that "shined strongly" during the credit crisis.

"While BB&T has not been immune to the problems, its strong capital position and underwriting standards have helped tremendously," Mr. Dorsey said. BB&T remained profitable in the first three quarters of last year and was one of the few banking companies to raise its dividend while others were slashing theirs. "BB&T's conservatism will remain its backbone and, we believe, will help reward shareholders for years to come," he said.

In August, Mr. Allison announced plans to retire, triggering a succession plan in which Kelly King, the chief operating officer, became the CEO on Thursday. Christopher Henson, the chief financial officer, succeeded Mr. King. Calls to BB&T were not immediately returned.

Mr. Allison will have stiff competition for the award. The other finalists are Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Tom Lewis of Realty Income Corp., and Robert Kotick of Activision Blizzard Inc. Morningstar will announce the winner Wednesday.

 

 

Huddle Up

With the Baltimore Ravens headed to the playoffs, M&T Bank Corp. is hoping to capitalize on its connection to the team and growing operations there.The Buffalo company has the naming rights for the Ravens' home facility (M&T Bank Stadium) and is poised to expand in Baltimore with a deal announced last month to buy Provident Bankshares Corp.

This week M&T handed out posters autographed by the Ravens tight end Todd Heap in its branches, and it is offering a nine-month certificate of deposit, with a rate of 2.86%, in honor of Mr. Heap, who wears No. 86.

Also, new customers qualify for a free order of checks with the Ravens logo.

Peter Eliopoulos, M&T's chief marketing officer, said the Ravens were featured in a fall ad campaign, and his company wanted to step up its marketing now that the team has made the postseason.

"People in Baltimore are very loyal to their football team, and the playoff has really energized the community," he said. "We're hoping our promotions get them energized to talk to us, as well." The campaign coincides nicely with the Provident deal, Mr. Eliopoulos said. The Ravens will play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

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