Max Crowe, former President of BB&T Atlanta Region is now at Main Street, Atlanta's largest community bank. I wonder if things really are bad in Atlanta. I still would like to see BB&T build more branches in the metro area. I'm not sure how successful they will be with the limited number of branches. They can grow but will they truely be a major player? They have only a few branches in the midtown/downtown/buckhead area, among other areas in fulton and dekalb county. I'm still long but would like to see more focus in Atlanta....just my opinion.
Admittedly BB&T needs to have a stronger branch presnece in the Atlanta market to move onto the radar screen as a truly viable player. BB&T began in Atlanta with a loan production office composed of commercial lenders only - even before there was the first acquisition in that market. Then there were a series of acquisitions that pieced together a very limited network of branches/locations and more importantly a hodge-podge of cultures to try and assimilate into the BB&T way. Tough job for any senior manager to try and do that AND focus on keeping clients happy, employees producing and all the other day to day stuff. I could see where it could be an easy job to burn out in.
I think a more salient point however, would be to question why BB&T would want to "bulk up" in Atlanta. Atlanta does not equal the entire state of Georgia and there are other attractive markets. In fact, BB&T has shown that it does best not in the large metropolitan markets (like Atlanta, Charlotte, DC, Baltimore) but in the medium to smaller markets (like Dalton, Newnan, Macon, Gainesville). Mid size markets are more likely to appreciate the approach BB&T brings - community bank like approach - as well as the product offerings of a much larger institution. Larger cities are often over banked with the big guys and still have all the local banks too making it much more difficult for BB&T to differentiate. Given that has been case, should BB&T not then focus on growing in other parts of the state of GA where they have no presence yet (like Albany, Columbus, Athens, Agusta, Rome) before sinking more time/money/effort into a market that may not have the same prospects for success?
All of this is a subjective opinion, but one I would welcome comment on. Thoughts?