United Community's longtime CEO to retire

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Jimmy Tallent, the longtime CEO of United Community Banks in Blairsville, Ga., will retire on June 30.

Tallent, who will remain chairman, will be succeeded by Lynn Harton, who is already president and CEO of United Community’s bank. The company said in a press release Monday that Tallent, as executive chairman, will continue to focus on board governance, strategic planning and corporate development.

Tallent has been at United's helm since 1984, helping it expand from one branch and $40 million of assets to a four-state regional bank with $12.3 billion in assets. He led United through the financial crisis and its aftermath, a period when the bank lost more than $900 million on soured real estate loans. He has since worked to diversify United’s loan mix, focusing on Small Business Administration loans and other specialty lines.

United has also completed six acquisitions since mid-2009.

"I am grateful to the shareholders, the management team, and the board of directors for their confidence in me and proud of what we have accomplished together,” Tallent said in the release. “The future is bright for United, and I look forward to serving in my new role as executive chairman."

Harton, who has long been viewed as Tallent’s successor, was named the bank's CEO in August. He has been on the company's board since February 2015. Beore joining United in 2012, he served in executive roles with various institutions, including as CEO of South Financial Group and chief credit officer for Regions Financial and Union Planters.

"I am honored to lead this organization into its next chapter," Harton said in the release. "We have a solid foundation, and are well-positioned for continued growth and success. It has been an honor to work alongside Jimmy for the past several years, and I look forward to continuing to serve United together in our new roles."

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