Synovus invests broad authority in new COO

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Synovus Financial has handed its chief financial officer the additional title of chief operating officer as the Columbus, Ga., company edges closer to completing its acquisition of FCB Financial Holdings.

Kevin Blair will continue to hold the title of CFO until the $32 billion-asset Synovus finds a successor. As COO, Blair will oversee its community banking, wholesale banking and financial management services business lines, as well as the technology and operations and product and treasury management teams.

“As we prepare to expand our operating footprint with the addition of [FCB's] Florida Community Bank, this updated operating structure will improve execution across the company by aligning our revenue-generating businesses and technology and operations under a single point of leadership,” Chairman and CEO Kessel Stelling said in a press release Wednesday.

Stelling was the last COO before he was named CEO in October 2010. Those business functions now under Blair’s oversight had previously reported to Stelling.

Synovus’ purchase of the $11 billion-asset FCB will add $9.9 billion in deposits and 50 branches in Florida. It will be the first whole-bank acquisition Synovus has made since 2006 and also the second-largest bank M&A deal this year, after Fifth Third Bancorp’s $4.6 billion agreement to buy MB Financial in Chicago.

As of Dec. 7, Synovus had received the necessary regulatory approvals and expected to officially complete the acquisition on Jan. 1. It expects to transition FCB’s systems, customers, branches and branding into its own in the second quarter.

Blair joined Synovus in August 2016 as its CFO. Previously, he was a corporate treasurer at SunTrust Banks in Atlanta.

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