Confidential Information – For CenterState Employees Only

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This page was last updated on February 7th, 2020 at 9:58 am

Today is not an ordinary day.

We all recognize that the world is changing faster than ever before. And likewise … the banking business is changing faster than ever before. Today’s announcement represents our acknowledgment of the changing world around us, and our plan to lead our banks into the future together proactively. This future is bright and will bring a new level of digital convenience to our clients while, at the same time, strengthening the personal relationships that define us as a community bank. It’s a future that both of our teams are excited to create.

Both companies are positioned in high growth markets, both are funded by low-cost checking accounts, and both share a conservative credit mindset that makes us built for the long-run. The South State mantra of Soundness, Profitability, and Growth is one that we both share. We have been building the same bank for 20 years in neighboring geographies.

Quick Overview

1 Million Customers

More customers than ever to give a remarkable banking experience


300+ locations to serve the customer better


$34 billion in assets allows us to offer more products and services

Town Hall | Winter Haven

View the latest Winter Haven town hall meeting with John Corbett and Robert Hill.

Download Presentation Slides

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall meetings are live, interactive events held in your area where you will have the ability to hear about the merger details first hand and ask questions.

We will hold approximately 10 meetings around Alabama, Georgia and Florida that will be open to all employees. Specific locations to include Tampa, Central Florida, Birmingham, Huntsville, West Point, Treasure Coast, South Florida, Orlando and many others.

Check with your local leadership for dates and times in your area.

View The Original Merger Announcement

What's behind this merger?

In previous announcements, We’ve referred to our focus on the three “M’s” to make a merger successful. The Map, the Management, and the Math. With this partnership, we will add a fourth “M” to the equation - this Moment in time.

As can be seen by the combined footprint in the map below, you will see the pro forma franchise, which will be the 8th largest bank in the southeastern United States with $34B in assets and presence in 10 of the 15 largest markets. We believe in the importance of operating leverage and we believe that having over $1B in deposits in a high growth MSA gives us the scale necessary to hire the best leaders and talent in the market. And that is what this franchise delivers in dynamic markets like Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa, Greenville, Charleston, and Atlanta. It’s simply a franchise map that cannot be replicated.

In our new peer group, the franchise will be home to the fastest-growing geography in the United States outside of Texas, with a population growth that is double the national growth rate.

Our second priority is an engaged management team.

We have had a ten-year relationship with South State Bank. Our CEOs have very similar backgrounds - both went to college in S.C., both started their banking careers with large regional banks in Charlotte, NC, and both left the big banks early in their careers to start de novo banks in rural markets. Both CEOs led their respective banks through the financial crisis; both institutions were opportunistic to take advantage of the FDIC roll-ups and then the downstream consolidation that occurred over the last decade; and, most important, both believe in surrounding themselves with people that are smarter than they are.

We have been in talks with South State Bank for almost two years - before any of the other mergers of equals were announced. Both banks have taken that time for our management teams to get to know each other on a personal level, to learn about each other’s families and other priorities in life. And that relationship building time over the last five months has allowed both banks to build an executive leadership team that we can announce with confidence today. We all agreed that we needed a clearly defined leadership structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

We have a formidable and young team, the details of which are below in the FAQ section. The team is largely all in their 40’s and 50’s with a lot of runway ahead of them.

In addition to the executive team, we have named an expanded operating committee of 16 leaders with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. And unlike most mergers over the last decade, there is no geographic overlap, which means that the entire geographic leadership team stays intact without disruption.

The 3rd “M” is the math. Not only is this a powerful southeastern franchise with a formidable leadership team, this company will produce top-tier returns for our shareholders. The projected return on average tangible common equity of 18% will be the highest return in the nation for our new $25 to $50B peer group. The pro forma company will produce EPS accretion over 20% with minor book dilution and a quick earn back.

And the long term power of the franchise will continue to be the granular deposit base comprised of over 1 million deposit accounts and a top quartile cost of deposits of only 65bps.

And then the final “M” is this “moment” in time. It’s human nature to procrastinate and kick the can down the road rather than make the appropriate strategic moves - even when we know it’s logical. But as our teams thoughtfully evaluated the landscape and strategic options before us, we absolutely know that this is the right “moment” in time to create this partnership. Some will wait on the sidelines and see what evolves while others will be proactive and pick their dance partner. We’ve chosen the later and, in doing so, we are combining the two premier community banks in the Southeast before the opportunity passes us by.

Locations Map

Our Expanded Footprint –
A Powerhouse in the South

Together we will operate as South State Bank with more than 300 locations in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.