published Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Chattanooga-based FSGBank targets wealth management

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FSGBank has hired two experienced executives to bolster its wealth management and trust division in the face of a tactical retreat by SunTrust in the market.

The $1.1 billion-asset Chattanooga-based FSGBank has added Cheryl Godwin, a 25-year veteran, and Teresa Whitton, a certified financial advisor with 20 years under her belt, the bank announced Monday.

"Cheryl and Teresa have a proven record of success in the Chattanooga market. and we couldn't be more pleased that they have chosen to join FSGBank," said First Security Group and FSGBank CEO Michael Kramer.

Along with Bart Rolen, recently hired director of wealth management and trust, and Criss McBride, a former SunTrust support specialist with a decade of wealth management experience, FSGBank is reinforcing its lineup to make inroads into the Chattanooga-area wealth management market, Kramer said.

Godwin formerly served as vice president and senior trust advisor at SunTrust, and Whitton managed the Chattanooga Wealth Advisory Center.

FSGBank is working to capitalize on an opportunity provided by SunTrust, which in February said it was transferring a half-dozen wealth management positions to Nashville for "operating efficiency reasons." The lack of local wealth managers following SunTrust's pullout has created an apparent gap for smaller banks like FSGBank to exploit.

"FSGBank's commitment to be woven into the fabric of the community by supporting and serving with some of the great local non-profit organizations represents a culture that I am excited to join," Godwin said, echoing a statement by Whitton.

SunTrust, which used to maintain a work force of 30 on the 8th floor of its downtown building, has just a handful of wealth management and trust workers left, former workers say.

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about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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