Regions Financial in Birmingham, Ala., has reshuffled some of its top executives and created a corporate responsibility and philanthropy division as part of an ongoing efficiency effort.
In a streamlining effort announced Friday, the $124 billion-asset company moved three regional presidents into other roles, while bankers in the field will report to either the consumer, corporate or wealth management business lines. As part of its “Simplify and Grow” effort, Regions created a corporate responsibility and community engagement division.
"These changes will strengthen our commitment to our communities, help further improve service quality, and make banking easier for our customers," Grayson Hall, Regions' chairman and CEO, said in a press release. "We are reinforcing our market leadership across the company and engaging in every community where we do business."
As part of the reorganization, Regions is designating market leaders to serve as points of contact for their respective communities in addition to their current responsibilities.
Hall announced the Simplify and Grow initiative last fall. There are no large-scale layoffs tied to the effort, although the company said a small number of posts could be eliminated or reassigned. While part of the effort involves some structural reorganization and expense cuts, Regions also plans to invest in new technology.
“It’s probably unfair to use the word ‘pressure,’ because every company feels the shareholder demand to get more efficient. I think [Regions has] made good progress, and their stock has done incredibly well the last couple quarters,” Christopher Marinac, an analyst at at FIG Partners in Atlanta, said of the initiative. “Sometimes companies have to mix it up to make further progress.”
Marinac said he was particularly impressed with the creation of the corporate responsibility and community engagement division, which brings together community affairs and charitable giving, government affairs and economic development, and fair and responsible banking.
“If Regions puts the right effort and initiative here, they could actually create business out of this,” Marinac said. “It’s part efficiency [and] part recognizing they could be a stronger and more effective corporate citizen.”
Keith Herron, formerly Regions' south regional president, will lead the newly created division. Herron led a 2012 customer service effort, Regions360, after which the company racked up accolades from J.D. Power, Temkin Group and Greenwich Associates.
John Owen, who had headed the company's regional banking group, was named head of enterprise services and consumer banking. In that role he will lead a group that includes consumer banking, enterprise operations, information technology, corporate real estate and procurement, corporate marketing and digital banking.
Ronnie Smith, a former mid-America regional president, will lead the corporate banking group.