Magazine article American Banker

SouthTrust Reshuffles Its Executive Lineup

Magazine article American Banker

SouthTrust Reshuffles Its Executive Lineup

Article excerpt

SouthTrust Corp. said Friday it has expanded the role of its No. 2 executive and promoted two other senior executives, but the changes left unanswered questions about long-term leadership at the regional bank holding company.

The $51 billion-asset company said that Julian Banton, 62, has added the titles of president and chief operating officer at SouthTrust, where he has worked since 1982. He will remain the chairman and CEO of its SouthTrust Bank.

Mr. Banton has run the banking unit since 1990, and is the No. 2 executive to SouthTrust's 66-year-old chairman and chief executive, Wallace D. Malone Jr.

Mr. Malone, who owns about 2% of SouthTrust's shares, has repeatedly declined to say when he might retire, though in January he said it would be "in the not too distant future." A SouthTrust spokesman said Monday that Mr. Malone has not yet set a date.

"This does not answer the question of what does Wallace want to do," said Christopher Marinac, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in Atlanta. "Succession planning is still an issue at SouthTrust."

Mr. Marinac and other analysts said Friday's news also gave few clues about who might eventually succeed Mr. Malone. Two likely candidates are Thomas Coley and Glenn Eubanks, both of whom also got additional duties on Friday.

"I think it's been pretty well defined that Glenn and Tom were sort of the future leadership inside of SouthTrust," Mr. Marinac said.

Mr. Coley, 59, was named a vice chairman of the holding company and elected to its board. …

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