SunTrust-BB&T merger to become Truist Bank in Southwest Florida

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And the winner is…Truist.

After months of brand development, the name of the bank to be created by the $28 billion mega-merger between BB&T and SunTrust is Truist Bank.

The two companies unveiled the new name Wednesday for what will become the nation’s sixth-largest bank.

Get ready to see Truist all over Southwest Florida.

SunTrust ranks as the third-biggest bank in the Sarasota-Manatee region with $2.2 billion in customer deposits and 29 offices, while BB&T was fifth with $1.2 billion and 18 offices, according to the latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

“With the merger of equals, our goal is to create a bold, transformative organization that delivers a smarter and easier client experience through technology and human connection,”  BB&T Chairman/CEO Kelly S. King said in the announcement. “True to the heritage of both companies, Truist will reflect what we stand for – a shared belief in building a better future for our clients and communities.”

The new logo and other brand elements will be released later.

The two companies hired Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, to lead the creation of the new name and brand identity. The banks called it a “rigorous, data-driven brand development process” that took input from bank employees and customers, focus groups and analytical research.

“Truist is a brand name representative of two mission- and purpose-driven companies coming together to serve our clients as a true financial partner,” said SunTrust CEO Bill Rogers.

The new name – an “i” in the middle of “trust” – reflects parts of both of their names. BB&T’s full name is Branch Banking and Trust.

The combined holding company will be called Truist Financial Corp., and the bank will be Truist Bank. The new names will take effect when the merger is completed, slated for later this year. Customers will still use their BB&T and SunTrust accounts and products for awhile until the they are transitioned into Truist.

Shareholders of the two banks must still approve the merger, valued at $66 billion, and they also will get to vote on the new name. Regulators also must sign off on the deal.

BB&T stockholders will own about 57% of the combined company. A new corporate headquarters will be established in Charlotte, North Carolina. BB&T is now based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and SunTrust is in Atlanta.

The merged institution, with more than 10 million customers, will report about $447.7 billion in assets.

“Together, as Truist, serving our clients well will continue to be our first priority as we work towards creating a bold, transformational financial institution,” Jim Daly, West Florida regional president at BB&T, said in a statement. “The proposed merger of equals will mean better experiences, better partnerships, better technology and doing more for better communities and a better future in West Florida and across our footprint.”

King will be chairman/CEO of the combined company, and Rogers will be president/chief operating officer until he succeeds King as CEO in September 2021.

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