BB&T Corp., based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a regional bank with a big footprint in the Southeast U.S. The holding company's commercial banking subsidiary Branch Banking and Trust Co. provides a range of banking and trust services for retail and commercial clients, including small and midsize businesses, public agencies, local governments and individuals. It's the 11th largest bank in the U.S.
The bank's history dates back to the post-Civil War era, but it has grown far beyond its Carolina roots. Because of its large presence in the Southeast, it's been regarded as an attractive takeover candidate. Chief executive Kelly King recently took the reins of the bank from the retiring John Allison. It remains to be seen how the culture might change as it was heavily influenced by Allison, a devotee of objectivism, an economic theory popularized by author Ayn Rand championing the virtues laissez-faire capitalism. While a handful of bank employees are objectivists, King is not.
The bank also prides itself on having a well-established sales culture and a sophisticated sales management process. And it takes its succession planning seriously, getting involved in developing individual employees' careers and asking managers on an annual basis to name two or three potential successors. BB&T received $3.1 billion under the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds and like other banks paid it back with interest.
The bank has a six-month leadership-development program with classroom and on-the-job training. There are spots for 300 college or master's degree graduate participants in two concentrations: retail banking and business, mortgage, private banking and corporate.
Employees receive a pamphlet on the bank's values, which include reason, independent thinking and fact-based decision making, according to the New York Times. Under retired chairman Allison, a copy of Ayn Rand's “Atlas Shrugged" was given to new executives, the paper reports.