Premier Financial Bancorp in Huntington, W.Va., has hired a former BB&T executive as its bank president and chief executive.
The $1.2 billion-asset Premier Financial named Mark Bias to the positions at Premier Bank on Sept. 15. Bias was previously market president for BB&T’s West Virginia central region from 2004 until his departure last month.
BB&T has the top market share in West Virginia, with 16.45% of retail deposits, as of June 30, 2014, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. BB&T holds about $5.1 billion in deposits in West Virginia.
Bias, 58, succeeded Robert Walker, who remains president and CEO of Premier Financial. Bias will also report to Walker. Bias joined One Valley Bank, now BB&T, in 1988 as a senior vice president in commercial banking.
Walker was president and CEO of Premier Financial in 2011, when the company was created through the merger of five affiliate banks. Premier Financial's current period of growth led Walker to decide it was time to hire new talent at the bank level.
“Merger activities at both the holding company and the bank level have provided the catalyst to convince me to add additional members to the management team to improve management depth,” Walker said in an interview.
Premier in July agreed to acquire the $261 million-asset First National Bankshares in Ronceverte, W.Va. Premier acquired Bank of Gassaway in West Virginia in April 2014.
Premier Financial owns both the $854 million-asset Premier Bank in Huntington and the $387 million-asset Citizens Deposit Bank & Trust in Vanceburg, Ky.