Pinnacle hires Synovus exec to open first office in Atlanta

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Pinnacle Financial Partners in Nashville, Tenn., will enter Atlanta after hiring a high-profile executive from Synovus Financial.

The $28 billion-asset Pinnacle said in a press release Wednesday that Rob Garcia will oversee efforts to build a commercial banking business in Atlanta. He will be responsible for hiring lenders and identifying a location for Pinnacle's first office in Georgia.

Garcia had been the north Georgia division CEO at Synovus, which is based in Columbus, Ga.

The de novo expansion will add a fifth state to Pinnacle’s Southeastern operations. Pinnacle said it plans to announce additional hires early next year.

Atlanta will have the largest population and annual economic output of any Pinnacle market. However, it is an intensely competitive market for banks of all sizes.

“It goes without saying that the potential here is monumental,” Terry Turner, Pinnacle’s president and CEO, said in the release. “We are experienced at taking top talent and market share from major players because we are a people-centric alternative to the impersonal service they offer. It’s always been our model, and we plan to replicate it here in Georgia.”

Garcia, whose financial services career dates to 1986, said Pinnacle’s reputation as an aggressive challenger to larger banks piqued his interest.

“That’s what we need and what drew me to help lead the charge,” Garcia said in the release.

The $48 billion-asset Synovus, in a separate release, said it had promoted Allen Barker to succeed Garcia. Barker, a 22-year Synovus veteran, had been market president for the company's Atlanta region.

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