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Olander to Lead First Tennessee Bank’s Southwestern Expansion

April 04, 2014, 07:11 AM

Houston has become the latest commercial banking region for First Tennessee Bank, which is growing in selected markets in addition to its home state of Tennessee. Long-time Houston banker Gary Olander will be the Houston market president for First Tennessee, a subsidiary of First Horizon National Corp. Olander has served as Texas regional president for Whitney Bank and most recently Houston CEO of Sovereign Bank. Olander, who joined First Tennessee on March 25, is building a team of top Houston bankers for First Tennessee.

First Tennessee will offer a full range of banking products for businesses, including corporate lending, treasury management, deposit services, commercial real estate, asset-based lending and private client services, with bankers specializing in medical and energy.  

First Tennessee bankers have built strong relationships with several large Houston businesses. "They kept telling us that Houston could use a bank like First Tennessee, where we focus on building long-term relationships with our customers by offering the service of a community bank and the products of a large bank," said David Popwell, First Horizon's banking president. "When Gary Olander decided to join us, we knew the time was right to build our banking team in the thriving Houston area."

"There are a number of banks that are looking to establish a Texas presence and participate in our growing, dynamic economy," said Olander. "I like the First Tennessee model of hiring experienced local bankers rather than buying banks – it's a formula that will work."

First Tennessee, which was chartered in 1864 and just celebrated its 150th anniversary, is the 14th oldest national bank in the country.

Houston becomes the fifth bank region for First Tennessee, joining three regions in Tennessee – West, Middle and East – and the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and North Florida.

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