In what is being billed as a “merger of equals,” Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust Company) Corporation, a commercial and consumer financial holding company and brokerage, has announced a $66 billion merger with Atlanta, Georgia-based SunTrust Banks to create the sixth-largest bank/brokerage in the United States. The new institution will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and operate under a yet-to-be-determined new name and new logo.
Upon securing the necessary shareholder, state and federal regulatory approvals, the closing will see a new board of directors with members split equally between BB&T and SunTrust’s current directors as well as seeing the same equal split for the new company’s executive management team.
Due to a significant overlap in branches, departments, and operational functionality, it is believed that hundreds of employees will lose their jobs as the new company projects an estimated $1.6 billion in net cost synergies by 2022. BB&T CEO Kelly King noted that while he expects the new enterprise to continue growing, there will be “consolidations across the entire footprint.”
Of course, executives are more apt to speak about the new venture’s “enhanced scale and financial strength that will accelerate investment in transformative technology to embrace disruption and create a more distinctive client experience.” Yada, Yada, Yada.
For those wishing to see the joint announcements, they can be found at the investor relations sites for SunTrust and BB&T. Links to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well has various presentations are also available.
The merger is being hailed as the largest financial transaction of its type since the crash of the financial world in 2008. It is time for the employees of both companies to assess their respective positions and prepare for the worst possible outcome, a layoff.
There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?