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Shareholders approve $66B BB&T-SunTrust merger; $1,500 bonuses for employees

North Carolina-based BB&T Corp. said its shareholders approved a merger of BB&T and Georgia-based SunTrust Banks Inc. valued at $66 billion and adopted Truist Financial Corp. as the new name of the combined company. Additionally, about 40,000 employees at both companies will each receive $1,500 bonuses.

“We are pleased to reward employees for their continued work,” said Sue Mallino, chief communications officer for SunTrust, in a statement. “Pending regulatory approval and the successful closing of the merger, approximately 40,000 BB&T associates and SunTrust teammates will receive a $1,500 award. Generally, the bank will give the award to individuals other than those in senior management roles, she said.

BB&T occupies space in Two City Center in Downtown Allentown. (Photo By Christopher Holland) –

She declined to comment on whether or not brokers would receive retention bonuses.

At a special meeting of shareholders Tuesday, more than 98 percent voted in favor of the merger with SunTrust and more than 96 percent voted in favor of the Truist name.

These approvals complete another step toward forming Truist, a bank that would become the sixth-largest U.S. bank holding company and serve more than 10 million households in the U.S. with a projected $442 billion in assets, $301 billion in loans, and $324 billion in deposits, according to a news release.

As previously announced, BB&T received approval for the merger from the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks on July 10.

The companies expect the transaction to close late in the third quarter or in the fourth quarter, pending additional customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

So far, the companies have not revealed information about potential layoffs or branch closings.

Both Bill Rogers, chairman and CEO of SunTrust, and Kelly King, chairman and CEO of BB&T, have said that all performing client-facing employees will have a job, Mallino said.

“There will be some consolidation of branches, but no specifics to report yet,” Mallino said.

David White, spokesperson for BB&T, said in a statement that while some branches may consolidate because of proximity, the bank’s commitment to being an active member of its communities is unwavering, and local branches will continue to play a key role in the combined company.

Until closing, BB&T and SunTrust will continue to operate as separate companies, White said. “Our combined leadership team is working together to determine the structure of the new organization. We have said that all performing client-facing associates and teammates will have a job. We also know the new company will continue to grow, resulting in many more opportunities to advance careers.”

King will serve as chairman and CEO of the combined company and its bank subsidiary until Sept. 12, 2021, after which he will serve as executive chairman of both entities until March 12, 2022. King will continue to serve on the board of directors of the combined company until the end of 2023.

Rogers will serve as president and COO of the combined company and its bank subsidiary until Sept. 12, 2021, at which time he will become CEO of the combined company and its bank subsidiary. He will also hold a seat on the combined company’s board of directors through his position as president and COO and then CEO. On March 12, 2022, Rogers will also become chairman and CEO of the combined company and its bank subsidiary.

Sign changes will not happen until later in the approval and transformation process, White said. Additional brand elements, such as the logo, typography and visual identity will be revealed later, he said.

According to the FDIC as of June 30, 2018, BB&T had nearly $900 million in deposits in Lehigh County and about $1.1 billion in deposits in Northampton County.

BB&T and SunTrust remain separate and independent companies until the transaction closes.

The merger, first announced in February, follows a series of big changes for BB&T.

In December, BB&T said it will keep corporate offices in downtown Allentown, but it will no longer serve as a regional headquarters after announcing a realignment of territories.

National Penn Bank acquired BB&T in 2016.

BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $227.7 billion in assets and market capitalization of about $35.6 billion as of March 31.

Truist Financial will have headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Brian Pedersen
Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh.

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