Magazine article American Banker

First Horizon CFO to Be Reassigned after '06 Filings

Magazine article American Banker

First Horizon CFO to Be Reassigned after '06 Filings

Article excerpt

First Horizon National Corp. said it plans to reassign its chief financial officer, adding more uncertainty to a year in which it reported a messy first quarter and has warned about results for the third.

The $37.5 billion-asset Memphis banking company said Friday that Marty Mosby will take a strategic role at its capital markets division, FTN Financial, after the company's full-year filings are completed and a successor is in place. First Horizon said it will hire a national search firm to find a new CFO.

Mr. Mosby said in an interview that he sought the transfer to gain business-line experience, and that the transfer was unrelated to the recent earnings volatility.

"There's never a good time to leave," he said. "We're still experiencing and working through a flattening -- and now inverted -- yield curve. When you look at the long-term potential of the company, there's a lot of positive trends. The volatility is related to very specific things in the market that will eventually go away."

The timing of the decision, paired with First Horizon's earnings challenges, had analysts debating whether the transfer is a promotion or demotion for Mr. Mosby, who joined the company in 1988 and became its CFO three years ago.

Kevin Fitzsimmons, an analyst at Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP, said Friday in an interview that First Horizon's explanation was "understandable," but that the timing "raises some questions over what could be driving" the transfer. "I still have some reservations that there could be more to it."

Christopher Marinac, an analyst at FIG Partners LLC, said Friday that he sees the transfer as a move up for Mr. Mosby.

FTN Financial could benefit from better strategic planning, and First Horizon has had challenges communicating its own strategy, Mr. Marinac said. …

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