Sunday, July 14, 2024

Power List 2023: Finance & Insurance

Anita Hughes Bachmann
Jim Bostian
Jeffrey Brown
Richard Bryant
Rick Callicutt
Kieth Cockrell
Beau Cummins
Matt Davis
Ron Day
Jim Dunn
Rob Edwards
Lee Fite
Mike Freno

Charles Grigg
Peter Gwaltney
Todd Hall
Jim Hansen
Jim Hayes
Frank Holding Jr.
Tom Hoops
Patrick Jordan
Jim Kelligrew
Jonathon King
Curt Ladig
Doug Lebda
Mary Mack
James S. ‘Chip’ Mahan

Mike Mayer
Brian McCarthy
Ed McMahan
Fielding Miller
Richard Moore
Suzanne Morrison
Robert ‘Bob’ Newell
Cathy Pace
Michael Painte
Art Pappas
Bill Pappas
Edwin Poston
David Rea
Lee Roberts

William ‘Bill’ Rogers Jr.
Jim Rose
Jason Sandner
James Sills*
Tunde Sotunde
Eric Steigerwalt
Clay Thorp
Neal Triplett
Kevin Walker
Thad Walton
Hunter Westbrook
Mary Willis
Dontá Wilson



president, CEO | M&F Bancorp

Since coming to North Carolina in 2014, the Morehouse College graduate has turned around the second-oldest minority-owned U.S. bank, which has offices in Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. It’s among about 20  remaining Black-owned banks in the U.S.

His father was a politician in Delaware and he tried his hand at state government there, serving as chief information officer for the state. But he believed he could have a greater influence in banking.

M&F struggled financially early in his tenure, reporting cumulative losses totaling about $2 million in 2016 and 2017.

But its fortunes have turned in the past few years, aided by the U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment program, which enabled M&F to exchange 80,000 shares of preferred stock in return for $80 million in capital. That enabled a pledge to lend at least $30 million annually to minority borrowers affected by the pandemic, over the next 10 years.

In 2022, M&F Bancorp reported a $4.3 million profit, following net income of $2.7 million in 2021.  “We ended the year with more capital than in any other time in the history of the company, with the recent $80 million investment,” Sills said in March.

Assets totaled $451 million at the end of 2022, versus $365 million a year earlier.

Favorite family tradition: My wife has two sisters, and they like to rotate hosting Christmas with all the families and relatives coming together. We have a great time and we look forward to traveling to the different cities each year. It’s a blast in terms of food, fun, games and family.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Asheville in the fall.

What do you listen to on your commute: Satellite radio. My favorite stations are CNBC, CNN and ESPN.

Major inspiration: My family. I am so proud and thankful for all the many blessings that have been bestowed upon my family over the years. It motivates me to give back and do more for the community.

Career highlight: This past year, I served as the chairman of the N.C. Bankers Association. It was a great experience to work with the association leadership team, board of directors and bankers from around the state to help move our industry forward in the areas of DEI, leadership development and improving access to capital for small businesses.

Favorite hobby after work: Tennis. I have played for more than 50 years.

Best advice to industry newcomer: The banking industry is changing very rapidly. Embrace technology in all forms: AI, mobile, digitization, and application development.

Key industry change in next five years: Community banks like M&F Bank have a tremendous opportunity to pursue innovation in the delivery of financial services through relationships with fintechs that will level the playing field with the larger banks. These advances in technology present a vast array of self-service only options and AI interactions that will make banking simpler and more efficient.


CEO | UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina

Bachmann joined the largest U.S. health insurer in 2005 after working at Greenville, South Carolina, hospitals. She has held her current post since 2017. The Medical University of South Carolina graduate is a trustee at UNC Greensboro, a member of NC Works Commission, and past chair of the Greensboro Chamber.

Favorite family tradition: Cooking North Carolina Brunswick stew with the family every November. It’s important to wait until the weather is cool to get the black cauldron out for the annual stew cooking.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: I love every part of the state, from the beaches to the mountains. If I had to pick one place, it’s Wrightsville Beach.

What do you listen to on your commute: Podcasts about true crime, current politics and comedy.

Major inspiration: My daddy was always an encourager and always emphasized that I could be the best at whatever I wanted to be. Persistence and perseverance were key.

Career highlight: I don’t know if there is one career highlight. I have been with one company for almost 30 years, which is no traditional in today’s society. My highlight is the opportunity that I’ve had to hold many positions across our large enterprise.

Favorite hobby after work: Running is a great way to start or end the day. It is always good for improving physical and mental health!!!

Best advice for an industry newcomer: Because change is inevitable, flexibility and openness to new ideas and perspectives is key to success. Also, collaboration is critical to success. No one can do it alone; it takes teams to make great things happen.

Key industry change in next five years: Healthcare continues to be one of the top three topics of discussion, both nationally and locally. As the health industry continues to evolve, digital will play a crucial role in access to healthcare, how consumers engage in their care and how healthcare communications occur to achieve improved outcomes. 


president, MidSouth | Aetna

The Salisbury native and UNC Chapel Hill graduate turned heads by persuading the 740,000-member N.C. State Health Plan to switch its contract to the Connecticut-based insurer, starting in 2025. He has worked in N.C. health care for more than 30 years, including stints at Aetna and Duke University Health.

What do you listen to on your commute: I count on a dose of classic rock on my morning commute to set the stage for a successful day.

Major inspiration: My parents provided a strong foundation for my personal and career goals, and thanks to my wife and kids, I’ve been blessed with the love, support and purpose to achieve them. 

Career highlight: I’m still working toward that, but the day I started this job as market president with this incredible team was certainly a career milestone for me.  

Favorite hobby after work: Manning the backyard grill, and anything that can coax my kids away from their video games!

Best advice to industry newcomer: Health care is an exciting and rewarding industry, but prepare to be humbled by its depth and complexity.

Key industry change in next five years: Continued acceleration of virtual solutions and digital tools amid growing expectations of a more convenient, simplified and affordable health care experience.


CEO | Ally Financial

Brown became CEO of the digital financial services company in 2015 and has led significant growth, though net income dipped nearly 50% last year to $1.6 billion as interest rates rose. Previously the treasurer of Bank of America, Brown is a Clemson University graduate with an MBA at Queens University, where he is board chair.

Favorite family tradition: Taking first day of school photos year after year to see the growth of our three children.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: We love Charlotte and our sports teams, including Charlotte FC, NASCAR, the Panthers, the Hornets, and more. Shout out to the great parks, arts, Queens University, and amazing health care.

What do you listen to on your commute: Generally country, although I love all music.

Major inspiration: Rick Hendrick and Hugh McColl. Through hard work, they accomplished success and shared that success with their communities.

Career highlight: Ally’s CEO. It is a huge honor to lead such a great group. I’m proud we award employees with stock to ensure we all act as owners.

Favorite hobby after work: Cooking anything from Italian delights to smoking ribs/wings/BBQ, to making pizzas. It usually involves a great glass of wine. This is what I do to relax.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Be a lifelong learner. Also appreciate that you can learn from anyone.

Key industry change in next five years: Digital migration will help all consumers establish banking relationships. 


CEO | Capital Investment Cos.

Bryant heads a team of more than 180 financial planners, advisers and others. The Gastonia native says Capital Investment can offer wealth management and services similar to large Wall Street-based companies with a hometown touch. The N.C. State University grad founded the firm in 1984.

Favorite family tradition: New Year’s Day “good luck” meal with collards, black-eyed peas and pork.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Morehead City/Atlantic Beach

What do you listen to on your commute: Pre-1990s music.

Major inspiration: My dad was not only an exceptional businessman, he was also very kind and generous.

Career highlight: Staying in business for 40 years.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Nothing beats hard work and determination. Show up, stick to it and give it at least three years.

Key industry change in next five years: Companies’ ability to manage cyber risk and adopt technology changes and artificial intelligence.


chair, Carolinas & Virginia | Pinnacle Financial Partners
High Point

Callicutt joined Nashville-based Pinnacle in 2017 after it bought BNC Bancorp, where he started in 1991 and became CEO in 2013. He began his career working for Wachovia and First Union banks. He’s a High Point University alum and trustee and former board chair of the N.C. Bankers Association.


president | Bank of America 

After 10 years at IBM, Cockrell joined BofA 30 years ago. The Long Island, New York, native became Charlotte market leader in 2021. His civic roles include chairing the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. His son, Ross, plays in the NFL, while daughter Anna ran track in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


vice chair | Truist

The Michigan MBA worked at Bank of America before joining Truist predecessor SunTrust in 2005 as head of debt capital markets. He became head of the bank’s  corporate and institutional group in 2019 and took his
current post two years later. He oversees
much of the bank’s non-retail operations.


president, regional banking director | TowneBank 

Davis spent 15 years at Paragon Bank before
TowneBank’s acquisition in 2018. After working as chief strategy and risk officer at the Virginia headquarters, he returned to lead the N.C. bank in December. A certified executive coach, he has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from N.C. State University. 


founding director, president, CEO | First Carolina Bank

First Carolina Bank has expanded into Columbia, South Carolina, and Atlanta in the past two years. A Rocky Mount operations center is under construction. A 1987 UNC Chapel Hill graduate, Day previously worked at Bank of Hampton Roads in Virginia and RBC Bank in Raleigh and Atlanta. 

Favorite family tradition: Christmas/holiday meal at the Angus Barn

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Wrightsville Beach

What do you listen to on your commute: PGA Tour on Sirius XM Radio

Career highlight: Starting First Carolina Bank in 2012.

Best advice to industry newcomer: To get to the job that you want, excel/be the best at the job you currently have.

Key industry change in next five years: The further digitalization of the banking business.  


chief investment officer, CEO | Verger Capital Management

The Villanova University graduate created the investment firm in 2014 after previously working as chief investment officer at Wake Forest University’s endowment fund. The business, which focuses on nonprofit organizations, manages $2.3 billion in assets. 

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Being born in a city and then living in L.A. before moving to Winston-Salem, the North Carolina mountains have been a spot to recharge and get outside. From scenic drives, summit hikes, small towns, festivals, family and dog-friendly adventures, to great food, there is something for everyone. I’m particularly fond of Cashiers, Arden, and Asheville.

Major inspiration: Captrust CEO Fielding Miller once told a group of Wake Forest University students that “leadership is harder to master than management. It takes soft skills and big-picture thinking.” I believe the best leaders lead by example. It all starts with you.

Favorite hobby: Cheering for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. My son, Kevin, is on the basketball team. I’m proud of him and his teammates.

Best advice to industry newcomers: Humility and self-discipline, no matter the industry or where you are in your career. Ignore the noise of what your peers are doing. Focus on the fundamentals and stay true to your mandate. That has meant avoiding herd mentality and creating an all-weather portfolio designed to perform over the long term. I’m very proud of how our mantra, to Protect, Perform, & Provide, continues to deliver for our nonprofit investors.


managing partner | Ridgemont Equity Partners

Edwards co-founded Ridgemont, a private- equity company that raised $2.35 billion last fall, following a $1.65 billion raise in 2018. The group was part of Bank of America until 2010. The UNC Chapel Hill and Harvard University grad has also worked for McKinsey & Co. and Allied Capital.


Carolinas regional president | Fifth Third Bank

The Cincinnati-based bank continues to expand, planning 30 to 35 branches in the Southeast over the next few years. Fite is a 16-year bank veteran who is a graduate of Appalachian State University and Wake Forest University. He previously worked for RBC and First Union.


chair, president, CEO | Barings

The Wake Forest MBA joined a predecessor of the global investment management firm in 2005 and became CEO in 2020. He is on the executive leadership team of owner MassMutual Insurance. Barings managed about $350 billion in assets and had 1,800 employees at the end of 2022.


managing partner | Carousel Capital

Since 1996, the private-equity group has invested in 45 companies. Grigg joined in 1997 after working with Orion Partners in Boston and Smith Barney in New York. He has degrees from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania. Carousel has more than 100 current and former CEOs as investors.


president, CEO | NC Bankers Association

Gwaltney has led the bankers’ group since 2015 after having a similar post in Louisiana. He also led a foundation that promoted ways to block housing-related crimes against senior citizens. He’s a graduate of Louisiana State University.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: North Carolina mountains

What do you listen to on your commute:
I toggle between music, news and podcasts. I grew up searching the AM/FM dial and I appreciate the wide variety of options we have today.

Major inspiration: My father. I could not have asked for a better example for all aspects of my personal and professional life.

Career highlight: Accepting my current job. As I was building my career in Louisiana, I admired North Carolina’s great banks, the innovative work of the NCBA, and the leadership of my predecessor, Thad Woodard, from a distance.

Favorite hobby after work: Go home for a quiet dinner with my wife and our dog. We raised six children and became empty-nesters not long ago, so the quiet of our house and the ability to just sit and relax is still a bit of a novelty.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Strike a balance between running the organization and spending time away from the office, building relationships with members and learning about their needs and challenges.


president, CEO | Truliant Federal Credit Union

Truliant continued its expansion into the Greenville, South Carolina, market with three planned branches this year. The University of South Carolina graduate joined as chief operating officer in 2012 and became CEO in 2020. Truliant has 290,000 members, more than 35 branches and about $4 billion in assets.


regional president, Eastern Carolinas | PNC

Hansen has been a senior leader for PNC and its predecessors in North Carolina and Alabama since 2001. He has chaired the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and Raleigh Chamber.

What do you listen to on your commute: I use my time to pick up coffee, listen to the radio and perhaps place a quick phone call.

Major inspiration: Growing up in Winston-Salem in the 1980s and 1990s, I had a front-row seat to banking during a time of tremendous growth. I was able to see firsthand the impact the industry had on customers and our community. That influenced my decision to major in business at N.C. State, get an MBA at UNC Chapel Hill, and start my banking career in a training program.

Career highlight: The opportunity to contribute to PNC’s growth in my home state, which has translated to growth for North Carolina’s business landscape during a period of innovation and economic development. It is difficult to put into words what it means to me to create impact in a region that has inspired and shaped me.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Periods of economic downturn provided the greatest opportunities for learning, asking questions and understanding how our industry operates. Be open to taking on new roles; the opportunities are endless.

Key industry change in next five years: Companies will need to make large-scale technology investments and focus on innovation.


CEO | State Employees’ Credit Union

The California native succeeded Mike Lord
in 2021 at the second-largest U.S. credit union, with $50 billion in assets. He previously led a Maryland credit union. He vowed to improve digital services, while ending a policy of charging the same interest rate to all members, regardless of credit scores.


CEO, chair | First Citizens Bancshares

Holding has led the largest U.S. family-controlled bank since 2008. His sister, Vice Chair Hope Holding Bryant, and brother-in-law, President Peter Bristow, are the bank’s other top leaders. First Citizens became one of the 25 largest U.S. banks by buying Silicon Valley Bank from the FDIC in March.


CEO | New Republic Partners

The former Legg Mason and Wells Fargo
executive helped start the wealth management and banking business that is backed by the Belk, Bowles and Close families. He has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a UNC Chapel Hill MBA.

Favorite family tradition: Christmas Day is a day when time stands still, and it’s just me, Kristina, and our two sons. We spend the entire day together opening gifts, playing board games, watching sports, and eating lots of food. For one day, life slows down.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: I love the beach and mountains, but nothing beats stepping inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

What do you listen to on your commute: Bloomberg’s “Surveillance” on Sirius XM. Tom Keene, Jonathan Ferro, and Lisa Abramowicz — nobody covers the world of finance better.  

Career highlight: One of the coolest things I’ve experienced was ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ on the day we launched our new ETF range at Legg Mason.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Spend your early years finding good mentors who can help you build your toolkit of softer skills around communication, problem-solving, and developing relationships.

Key industry change in next five years: We have come through a 40-year period where interest rates in the U.S. have been in near-constant decline. That era is over and that has profound effects on the investment industry and how investment portfolios need to be constructed.


managing partner | NovaQuest Capital Management

In 2010, the Duke University MBA graduate joined famed Triangle investor Dennis Gillings in forming Quintiles Transnational (now IQVIA) offshoot NovaQuest to help finance clinical trials for humans and animals. He has more than 25 years in the biopharma industry. The firm has raised more than $2.5 billion.


vice chair, head of corporate and commercial banking | U.S. Bancorp

Kelligrew joined the Minneapolis- based bank in 2009 and was named to his current post in 2016. The 1987 University of Michigan graduate is on the company’s 14-member management committee and leads 3,000 bankers across the U.S.

Favorite family tradition: Vacations at our family’s house in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The house overlooks the bay where we enjoy spending time together watching the amazing sunsets.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Wrightsville Beach

What do you listen to on your commute: ’80s music including Queen, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Jimmy Buffett, and many others.

Major inspiration: My parents have been happily married for almost 60 years. They taught their four children the importance of staying true to our values and treating people with respect.

Career highlight: It’s a tie: working for four years in London from 1989 to 1993 and experiencing the diversity of cultures there. Also, building the U.S. Bank corporate bond business “from the ground floor” in 2009.

Favorite hobby after work: I enjoy relaxing with my wife, Libby, enjoying a glass of chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Build close relationships both internally with your peers and partners and externally with clients.

Key industry change in next five years: The continued evolution and digitization of traditional capital markets products such as loans, bonds and foreign exchange.


CEO | UNC Management Co. 
Chapel Hill

The Dartmouth College MBA joined the not-for-profit investment firm in 2005, three years after it was formed by UNC Chapel Hill. The group manages more than $10 billion in assets, mostly for UNC campuses. He previously spent 16 years at Dartmouth and also worked at New England Mutual Life Insurance.  


CEO, president | Delta Dental of North Carolina

The dental insurer’s customer base has increased by more than 500% since Ladig joined in 2011. He previously was CFO of the Delta Dental plan in Kentucky and has also worked for Ernst & Young and Anthem. The University of Indiana graduate is immediate past chair of the board of Leadership North Carolina. 

Favorite family tradition: Playing card games around the dining room table. I’m a pretty good Euchre player, but my sons think my strategies are too risky!

Favorite N.C. place to visit: All of it. North Carolina is filled with a diverse, dynamic and beautiful mosaic of people and culture.

What do you listen to on your commute: My thoughts about the day ahead.

Major inspiration: My parents, Robert and Sue, were public servants in our small Indiana town: my dad was police chief and my mom was a nurse. They taught their three sons the importance of faith, work, family, and a commitment to serving others.  

Career highlight: Taking a failing company and using my ideas and methods to help a team turn it into the fastest-growing company in our industry in the state. I came to disrupt the industry and create true change. I’m pleased to say that the market responded to our message of broader access to more affordable oral health care.

Favorite hobby after work: Spending time with my wife, family and friends.

Key industry change in next five years: Shortage of health care practitioners at all levels will expedite advancement in the robotics delivery of care.


founder, chair, CEO | LendingTree

Frustrated while arranging a mortgage for his first house, he launched his own company in 1996, becoming an entrepreneurial success story. The company employs about 1,000 and moved into a new Charlotte headquarters last year. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and the University of Virginia.


CEO, consumer and small business banking | Wells Fargo

The Davidson College graduate, who heads vital business units with 67,000 staffers , is retiring this summer after nearly 40 years at the company. Her successor, Saul Van Beurden, will be based in New York. Her job has included branch and small business banking, marketing, data, strategy and innovation, and diverse consumers. The fourth-most powerful U.S. female banker, according to American Banker, she joined a Wells Fargo predecessor in 1984. In April the bank said it would invest $500 million over five years on capital improvements in Charlotte, its biggest employment center. 


founder, chair, CEO | Live Oak Bancshares

The financial technology pioneer announced plans in September to add 204 jobs over the next five years and invest $25 million at the company’s campus. The company focuses on small business  loans and doesn’t have traditional branches. Assets doubled to $9.9 billion from 2019-22. He’s a co-founder of software vendor nCino and the Canapi Ventures investment firm.


president, First Bancorp CEO | First Bank
Southern Pines

The Clemson University graduate and former Bank of America executive has led the state’s biggest community bank since 2014. First Bank added eight branches in South Carolina with the purchase of Greenville-based GrandSouth Bank. It had 118 branches as of March.

Favorite family tradition: Gathering together at the beach.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Pinehurst

Career highlight: Helping build our culture at First Bank.

Favorite hobby after work: Walking a few holes of golf in Pinehurst or a couple of miles on the beach. Either is perfect.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Take a look around at all the options available to you. There’s so many different opportunities for someone to find the right fit in the financial services space.


principal, chief risk officer, retail investor group | Vanguard Group

McCarthy moved to his current post last June, having formerly led global investment operational risk and, earlier, personal investor services. The company has $7 trillion under management and 18,000 employees. He has degrees from St. Joseph’s University, Boston College and Duke University. 

Favorite family tradition: Our family travels to Florida every Christmas. While there, we host an annual pickleball tournament, a tradition my mom started. It’s a great way to reconnect.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Anytime I go to the beach I discover my new favorite place.

What do you listen to on your commute: In the morning, an audiobook or podcast. On the ride home, 100% music.

Major inspiration: His grandkids call my dad a legend. He started his career as an office administrator and became CEO, never changing who he was.

Career highlight: I am proud of individuals whose careers I helped support. I have also benefited from mentorship at Vanguard.

Favorite hobby after work: Watching activities my kids are involved in.

Best advice to industry newcomer: If you are new to a role or industry, ensure you are immersing yourself in the domain you are in, building skills and competencies for the future.

Key industry change in next five years: How organizations recruit, assess, and fill talent needs.


managing partner | Falfurrias Capital Partners


A UNC Chapel Hill and Northwestern University grad, McMahan has led the private-equity company for five years after co-founding the business with Hugh McColl Jr. and Marc Oken in 2006. It specializes in middle-market businesses in a wide range of industries. It’s raised nearly $2 billion through five funds.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Grandfather Mountain

What do you listen to on your commute: Sirius XM JamOn

Major inspiration: My family keeps me working and entertained.

Career highlight: Building the team we have built at Falfurrias.

Favorite hobby after work: Playing guitar
and golf.

Best advice to industry newcomer: There is no replacement for hard work.


co-founder, CEO | Captrust

Miller keeps building the investment management business he cofounded in 1997. It has more than $775 billion under advisement across 75 locations. Chicago-based GTCR bought a stake in 2020. Miller previously was a senior vice president at Wachovia Bank’s Interstate/Johnson Lane brokerage business. 

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Banner Elk.

Major inspiration: I love the underdog and the sentiment is perfectly captured by Mark Twain in the quote: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Career highlight: Launching Captrust 25 years ago. We were breaking the mold of what it meant to be an investment and financial advisory firm by serving as fiduciaries to our clients. And that is still a core part of our model today.


CEO | First Bancorp
Southern Pines

He’s the only former N.C. state treasurer to lead a major North Carolina bank. First Bank has grown to $12 billion in assets since the former elected official took his post in 2012, expanding into North Carolina’s bigger cities and South Carolina. He has degrees from Wake Forest University and the London School of Economics.

Favorite family tradition: Thanksgiving Day. Because it really is all about family and food and realizing how blessed we are. And the leaves still have a bit of color, perfect for our tradition of an afternoon hike on the farm.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: My beautiful hometown of Oxford.

What do you listen to on your commute:
Recently I have started enjoying audiobooks.

I just finished “Great Expectations” and “The Red Badge of Courage.” Great books!


executive vice president, division executive for commercial banking | Wells Fargo

The UNC Chapel Hill finance graduate joined Wachovia Bank in Winston-Salem in 1993. She took her current post in 2019, having spent much of her career in middle-market banking. She oversees commercial banking for businesses with $5 million to $2 billion in annual revenue.


president | Franklin Street Partners

Newell leads marketing and business development at one of the state’s bigger investment management firms while also serving on investment groups at his alma mater, N.C. State University, and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. He joined the wealth manager in 2009 after 27 years with Wachovia.  

Favorite family tradition: Boating at the N.C. coast.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Ocean Isle Beach

What do you listen to on your commute: The Daily Drive, WSJ, Mobituaries by Mo Rocca, lots of Spotify playlists.

Major inspiration: I have always admired the way George W. Bush faced adversity, stood in the face of relentless personal criticism, and came out a whole man, family intact, and prospered. He is just real.

Career highlight: Leading the finest group of talented wealth managers in N.C. We are by N.C., for N.C., and N.C. born and bred. 

Favorite hobbies after work: Golf and fishing, but I like teasing my grandchildren to make them giggle!

Best advice to industry newcomer: Find a mentor and hustle, always hustle, and pay attention to the details! Learn to read the room.

Key industry change in next five years: Wealth is accumulating more rapidly and requires more attention from the most qualified and credentialed advisers.


president, CEO | Allegacy Federal Credit Union

While attending High Point University, she joined the credit union as a switchboard operator 30-plus years ago. She became CEO in 2013. Started to serve R.J. Reynolds Tobacco workers in 1967, Allegacy has expanded to 18 locations with more than 170,000 members and $2 billion in assets.


co-founder, managing partner | Plexus Capital

Painter’s firm has raised $1.7 billion for middle-market investments with most companies having less than $150 million in annual revenue. Plexus, with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh, has more than 140 investments managed by a staff of about 40. The UNC Chapel Hill grad previously worked at RBC.


founder, managing general partner | Pappas Capital

A decorated Vietnam War veteran and former GlaxoSmithKline and Abbott Laboratories executive, he started his firm in 1994. He’s invested more than $800 million in 90 companies. He’s on the board at N.C. Biotechnology Center. He has a biology degree from Ohio State University and an Xavier University MBA.


executive vice president, head of global technology and operations | MetLife

The former head of operations for Bank of America’s consumer, small business, wealth management and private banking units joined MetLife in 2019. He also worked at General Electric Capital Services. He has a bachelor’s and MBA from Bentley University. 

Favorite family tradition: I have run the Chicago marathon five years in a row, and each time my family joins me to cheer me on.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Wrightsville Beach’s breathtaking sunsets and picture-worthy views.

What do you listen to on your commute:  I listen to music when I run, which is a daily activity for me. I typically have “The Boss” on: Bruce Springsteen. There’s nothing like “Born to Run” to help me pick up the pace.

Major inspiration: My four daughters are confidently forging their own paths using the life lessons my wife and I taught them. They inspire me to lead by example.

Career highlight: Those moments when I didn’t achieve my goal help me grow, and they’ve taught me how to persevere, pivot and get better at what I do.

Favorite hobby after work: It’s important to create balance in your life, whether it’s spending time with family, reading a book or catching up with a friend.

Best advice to industry newcomer: An adaptation of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: “Be the change you wish to see in this world.” You are either going to drive the change, or somebody is going to dictate that change for you.

Key industry change in next five years: Customers’ expectations have changed dramatically and will continue to evolve over the next five years.


co-founder, general partner | Truebridge Capital Partners
Chapel Hill

He and partner Mel Williams have been raising money for their investment firm since 2007, including a January filing for a potential $750 million fund. They now have $5.5 billion of assets under management. Dallas-based P10 Holdings acquired TrueBridge in 2020.


president | Salem Investment Counselors

The Wake Forest University law graduate and Indiana University MBA joined Salem in 1984. Now with $2.5 billion under management after nearly 40 years in business, Rea’s firm has been ranked first or second in CNBC’s Financial Advisor 100 for three consecutive years. 

Favorite family tradition: Summer beach week

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Lake Norman

What do you listen to on your commute: Contemporary jazz

Major inspiration: My family and my clients.

Career highlight: Salem Investment Counselors being ranked the best investment in the U.S. by CNBC.

Favorite hobby after work: Cooking and talking with my wife.

Best advice to industry newcomer: Work hard, listen, be patient and treat people with respect.


managing partner | SharpVue Capital

The former state budget director has led the money management firm since 2016. It has spun off from its original sponsor, Curi Capital, which remains a partner. He’s a Duke University graduate with a Georgetown University law degree and a member of the UNC Board of Governors. 



chairman, CEO | Truist Financial

The UNC Chapel Hill graduate joined SunTrust Banks in 1980 and became CEO of the Atlanta-based bank in 2011. He and Kelly King cooked up the 2019 merger with BB&T that created Truist. He’s a member of the Emory University board and Charlotte Executive Leadership Council. 


state president | United Community Bank

The Wake Forest University graduate joined Greenville, South Carolina-based United Community as N.C. president in 2017. It added a Triad management team last fall, complementing its Charlotte, Raleigh and Western N.C. operations.

Favorite family tradition: Christmas and Thanksgiving meals.

Favorite N.C. place to visit: Atlantic Beach

What do you listen to on your commute: CNBC, Joel Osteen, or ’90s hip-hop

Major inspiration: Family, because they see me at my worst and love me anyway.

Career highlight: PPP during COVID was very meaningful. Long hours with my teammates and really delivering for clients during a time of uncertainty. It was transformational.

Favorite hobby after work: Talking with family after work, especially over a meal (that includes dessert). Playing guitar is one of my favorite things, even though I am not very good.

Best advice to industry newcomer: We live in anxious times, and people feel more connected to their phones than other people. Work to become known as an encourager and a connector of people. And, put in the extra hours — shortcuts are a myth.

Key industry change in next five years: The herd believes technology is the primary differentiator. Those who figure out how to build personal relationships, internally and externally, will stand out.


CEO | Curi

Curi, formerly called Medical Mutual of North Carolina, agreed to merge with Edina, Minnesota-based Constellation, another medical liability insurance company. Regulators must approve the deal. The combined firms will be owned by 50,000 physicians and other providers. Sandner will remain Curi’s CEO. He joined the company 12 years ago. 



president, CEO | Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

The Nigeria native earned a degree from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine there and added an MBA from the University of Memphis. He took his current post in June 2020 after managing Medicaid services for another company. Blue Cross provides coverage to 4.3 million members. 


president, CEO | Brighthouse Financial

Steigerwalt has held his post at the annuity and insurance provider since 2017, when the company split from MetLife. He worked at the predecessor company for 18 years. Brighthouse had revenue of $8.2 billion in 2022.


general partner | Hatteras Venture Partners

The veteran biotech executive co-founded the private equity firm in 2000 and has since helped manage $800-plus million in life sciences investments. He co-founded Xanthon and Novalon Pharmaceutical. Thorp has a bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University. Thorp’s longtime Hatteras Ventures partner Bob Ingram, a former CEO of Glaxo Wellcome, died in March. He was 80. 


president, CEO | Duke University Management Co.

A former credit officer at Wachovia Bank, Triplett has been an investment manager at his alma mater, where he earned an MBA, since 1999. He became president in 2007. DUMAC has about 55 employees and manages nearly $30 billion in assets, including the university’s $12 billion endowment. 


managing director | Credit Suisse

Walker has been a managing director since 2018 at the Swiss banking giant, which was acquired in March by UBS in a sale assisted by Switzerland’s government. It’s unclear how the transaction will affect Credit Suisse’s tech and operations center in Research Triangle Park. 


Charlotte market executive | Regions Bank

The Rowan County native and UNC Chapel Hill graduate worked as an intern with RBC Centura before joining First Citizens Bank. He joined Regions in 2011 and began his current role as Commercial Banking leader for North Carolina in 2019. He was named market executive for Charlotte in 2022. 


president, CEO | HomeTrust Bank

Westbrook joined the bank in 2012 as chief banking officer, then got his current post in 2021. Assets have more than doubled to $3.6 billion in that period. HomeTrust operates in five states. He’s a graduate of West Virginia University with an MBA from the University of Minnesota. 

Favorite family tradition: The summer family beach trip. It’s the highlight of my year. All five kids, two in-laws and now two grandchildren all under the same roof for a week.  I savor every moment of the trip.

What do you listen to on your commute: My favorite podcasts are: “The Ed Mylett Show;” “Diary of a CEO;” “Street Talk: S&P Global;” “Ascension Press;” “Game Changers with Molly Fletcher”

Favorite hobby after work: I enjoy meeting my wife and playing nine holes and being outside surrounded by Asheville’s beauty.

Best advice you can give to industry newcomers: Be curious and a life-long learner. Too many people spend time proving they belong in their job when that time would be better spent on self-development. If you didn’t belong, you wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity. Keep learning and growing. The biggest differences in anyone (at any age) one year from now will be the books they read and the people they meet.  We have a Book Club at HomeTrust wherein we provide a book to any interested employee each month, so we can all grow and learn together.

The HomeTrust team lives by 33 fundamentals (behaviors) and one of those is “Invest in Relationships.”

Relationships matter and a key relationship is with yourself. Self-doubt kills most dreams, but confidence and continuous learning will overcome self-doubt so people can become their greatest versions of themselves.


president, CEO | Fidelity Bank

The East Carolina University graduate became a teller at age 17 in 1987 at the bank where her father worked. She moved up to lead accounting and later, finance. In 2010, she became CEO. Assets now top $3.7 billion with nearly 60 offices in the Carolinas and Virginia.


chief retail and small business banking officer | Truist

Wilson started at BB&T as a UNC Charlotte student in 1995. He’s now a trustee at the university and leads 22,000 teammates at Truist, having taken his current post in February 2022. He previously was chief digital and experience officer. He has a University of Maryland MBA.

Major inspiration: Without a doubt, my grandfather was my role model for purpose, community and conviction. His positive energy and optimism lit a fire in me to always let my purpose be my guide as I seek what’s possible.

Career highlight: It’s the privilege of witnessing and sharing in the career and life successes of others. It doesn’t get more rewarding than working with our incredible teammates who accomplished both while building what is Truist today — a company created to inspire and build better lives and communities.

Favorite hobby after work: Watch or shoot hoops with my sons. A second favorite would have to be enjoying a marathon of “Sanford and Son.”

Best advice to industry newcomer: Live your purpose, stay client-centric, and embrace innovation.

Key industry change in next five years: I see behavioral science-based artificial intelligence creating real-time digital financial advisory and AI-enabled banker advisory becoming increasingly important. We’ve only begun to see how the intersection of AI, behavior science, digital, and human expertise can help clients achieve financial happiness.

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