SunTrust CFO Allison Dukes to leave bank after BB&T merger

By Maria Saporta

One of the key executives at SunTrust Bank – Allison Dukes – has chosen to not join the new bank formed by the merger of SunTrust and BB&T.

Dukes is the chief financial officer of SunTrust and she already had been identified as one of the SunTrust executives who would be part of the executive management team of the merged bank, which will be based in Charlotte, N.C.

In an interview, Dukes said she made the decision because she did not want to leave her hometown of Atlanta and where she and her husband have become deeply engaged in civic activities.

Allison Dukes, Rodney Bullard, Dan Cathy

Allison Dukes with Rodney Bullard and Dan Cathy from Chick Fil A. Dukes chaired the Golden Eagle Boy Scouts fundraising event in December 2018. (Photo courtesy of SunTrust)

“It was an incredibly difficult decision,” Dukes said. “I have loved my career at SunTrust, which dates back to 1997. It really came down to doing what was best for me and my family.”

SunTrust CEO Bill Rogers, who will be taking a leading role with the merged bank, said in a statement that Dukes would continue to play a key role in the integration of the two banks by staying on as CFO until the closing of the merger.

“Allison has decided to remain in Atlanta to continue her business, civic and philanthropic engagements,” Rogers said. “I completely support her decision and look forward to her continued success and positive impact.Allison has made extraordinary contributions as a SunTrust teammate, serving in a variety of leadership roles with SunTrust since 1997 with great skill and purpose.”

Dukes said she believes the merger is “the right transaction” for SunTrust and expressed support for the combination.

“I’ve told Bill and our board that I will be the biggest fan of the new bank,” Dukes said. Since joining the bank in !997, Dukes has held several key roles. Before becoming CFO, she was the head of commercial and business banking. She also served as president and CEO of the Atlanta division of SunTrust.

Dukes currently serves on the board of Haverty Furniture Companies, and she has been in significant leadership roles in the community. She currently is vice chair of Junior Achievement of Georgia, and she is slated to soon take over as chair. She also services on the boards of the Atlanta History Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and on the finance committee of the Westminster Schools.

Since the merger was announced, Dukes has had to travel regularly between Atlanta and Charlotte. She found it “challenging” to juggle her professional responsibilities with her civic and philanthropic work.

“As I started to think about what was next for me and where I wanted to spend my time professionally and personally, I realized that my husband and I are deeply connected to the city of Atlanta,” Dukes said. “It is the place where I really wanted to raise my family.”

Although she might have been able to have a base in Atlanta, Dukes said she knew that long-term, her job would take her to Charlotte. “I couldn’t see that being the right solution for me and my family,” she said.

Allison Dukes Aleem Gillani

SunTrust’s Aleem Gillani and Allison Dukes at the bank’s annual meeting on April 24, 2018 (Photo by Maria Saporta)

But she is committed to staying with SunTrust until the new bank is formed, which likely will be in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

“I will be 45 years old this fall when the merger closes,” Dukes said. “After that I hope to find an engaging opportunity with a company in Atlanta. I’m really excited about the opportunity to start a new chapter of my career.”

SunTrust disclosed the news of Dukes plans to the leave the company in an 8K filing with Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday afternoon.

That filing also included the news that SunTrust has appointed Mike Maguire to lead National Consumer Finance and Payments for the combined company. Maguire also will serve on the bank’s executive management team.

Since September 2018, Maguire has served as SunTrust’s Enterprise Partnerships & Investments Executive. Prior to that role. Maguire spent 17 years as an investment banker at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, where he focused primarily on advisory and financing transactions for clients in the financial services and technology industries.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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