Pinnacle Financial Partners Announces De Novo Start in Atlanta with Rob Garcia as Market President

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

Pinnacle Financial Partners is entering the Atlanta market with veteran bank leader at the helm of its de novo startup. Cobb County stalwart Rob Garcia joins Pinnacle as the firm’s Atlanta president.

Garcia will immediately begin building a team of experienced financial professionals to serve commercial, small business and personal clients. The process is underway to identify a location for the first Pinnacle office in Georgia.

“The timing for our entry into Atlanta is perfect, and we’ve handpicked the perfect person to lead it,” said M. Terry Turner, Pinnacle’s president and CEO. “Rob is one of Georgia’s top banking professionals and fits our unique culture like a glove. He’s been part of two successful bank startups, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone with deeper roots in the business community here.”

Garcia comes to Pinnacle from Synovus, where he was a division CEO for its largest area: metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia. He began his career in financial services in 1986 and has built a strong track record in commercial banking, including both C&I lending and commercial real estate.

His history of community service and leadership are equally impressive. Garcia serves as a board member and former chair of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, board member and immediate past chair of Cobb Competitive EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) and holds numerous other board positions and awards.

“I’m honored to introduce Pinnacle to Georgia,” Garcia said. “One need only look at the firm’s history and reputation to see what we will add to the marketplace. Terry and his partners founded this company at a time when Nashville had lost its largest hometown bank. Atlanta is going through a similar disruption right now. We are ready for a bank that will be locally focused and honor local commitments. Pinnacle is a challenger brand built on a community bank approach to service and advice, no matter how big the client or the transaction. That’s what we need and what drew me to help lead the charge.”

Atlanta is now Pinnacle’s largest market in terms of population size (5.9 million), GDP ($385.5 billion) and a number of other economic factors. According to FDIC data as of June 30, 2019, 85 banks in the Atlanta MSA hold $177.2 billion in local deposits.

“It goes without saying that the potential here is monumental,” Turner said. “We’ve successfully battled the big banks in every market we serve, so the competitive landscape of Atlanta is not new to us. We are experienced at taking top talent and market share from major players because we are a people-centric alternative to the impersonal service they offer. It’s always been our model, and we plan to replicate it here in Georgia.”

This growth adds a fifth state to Pinnacle’s footprint and expands its reach in the Southeast. As in the 11 other major markets Pinnacle serves, the Atlanta team will operate as a local bank with local leadership and decision-making. Additional hiring announcements and other developments are expected in the first quarter of 2020.