BB&T;

Overview: BB&T; (Branch Banking and Trust Company) is named after Alpheus Branch, who founded the bank in 1872. BB&T; is headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC and its main lines of business include:

  • Retail Banking
  • Commercial Banking
  • Insurance
  • Trust
  • Wealth Management

Job Openings: See this list of current job openings.

Size: BB&T; operates in 11 states, primarily in the southeast, and in the District of Columbia. It is the 14th largest financial holding company in the U.S. These figures are as of September, 2008:

  • Employees = 31,000
  • Banking Offices = 1,500
  • Scott & Stringfellow Brokerage Offices = 45
  • Assets = $137 billion
  • Trust Assets Managed = $20 billion
  • BB&T; Investment Services Clients = 200,000
  • Investment Services Client Assets = $4.6 billion

Positives: BB&T; has a decentralized management structure, with groups of community banks under regional presidents. The strategy is to push decision making close to the clients, making the bank more nimble and responsive. Since 1989 BB&T; has acquired 60 community banks and thrifts, over 85 insurance agencies and 35 non-bank financial services companies. In 8 of the 11 states in which it does business, BB&T; has a market share in the top 6.

For the first 9 months of 2008, BB&T; reports net income of $1.21 billion, down 8% from $1.32 billion in the same period in 2007. BB&T; has weathered the current financial crisis in strong shape, adding to a long history of above-average financial performance.

On October 27, 2008, BB&T; accepted an infusion of $3.1 billion in preferred equity capital from the U.S. Treasury under the $700 billion financial rescue bill. Prior to this infusion, BB&T; already reported capital ratios far in excess of minimum standards.

Negatives: While BB&T; has an extensive list of inspirational core principles, including client focus, it has drawn some criticism on the web for business practices that allegedly inflate customer fees. If these charges have merit, there may be some regulatory fallout.

John Allison will step down as CEO on 1/1/09 and remain as chairman until his retirement at the end of 2009, after 20 years in those posts. Under Allison’s tenure, BB&T; grew exponentially from $4.5 billion in assets to $137 billion, due to an aggressive acquisition program. Some observers note that the culture of BB&T; is closely identified with Allison himself, and that his successor will have a very tough act to follow. Also, BB&T; plans to continue its acquisition program once the current crisis settles down, and this leads to questions about whether Allison’s successor will have as deft a hand in the merger game. Lastly, some commentators speculate that BB&T; may be up for sale after Allison leaves.

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