Photo Release -- First Citizens Announces New South Carolina Leadership Team for Combined Company

COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Citizens today announced that Sharon Bryant has been named South Carolina Regional Executive Vice President for the combined bank. As previously announced, the merger of First Citizens BancShares' two banking subsidiaries — Columbia, S.C.–based First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc., and Raleigh, N.C.–headquartered First Citizens Bank of North Carolina — is expected to take place early next year.

Sharon Bryant named South Carolina regional executive vice president for the combined First Citizens Bank.

First Citizens names South Carolina leadership team for the combined bank, effective Jan. 1, 2015: (left to right) Jimmy Gulledge, Upstate area executive; Mike Wolfe, East area executive; James Bennett, Central area executive; Sharon Bryant, South Carolina regional executive vice president; Tom Trouche, Southern Coastal area executive; and Chuck Perry, West area executive.

Photos accompanying this release are available at

As Regional Executive, Bryant will lead the bank's South Carolina and Northeast Georgia markets and continue to oversee all retail and small business banking functions in the combined company's South Carolina metro markets, as well as retail, small business and commercial banking activities in South Carolina's community markets.

A native of Columbia, Bryant has more than 30 years of banking, fiduciary and investment services experience. Most recently, she has served as South Carolina Banking Executive for First Citizens Bank and Trust. She joined the bank in 1999.

"First Citizens is committed to serving our markets in South Carolina and Georgia for the long term," Bryant said. "We have an exceptional team, and we will continue to keep a keen focus on the financial needs of our customers. They have always been and will remain our top priority."

In conjunction with Bryant's role in the combined company, she has named the team of leaders who will preside over the company's five major geographical footprints in South Carolina and Northeast Georgia, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

  • The South Carolina Central area will be led by Area Executive James Bennett. This area includes the Metro Columbia and Northeast Columbia markets; the South Carolina communities of Aiken, Camden, Elgin and Lugoff; and Augusta, Ga.
  • The South Carolina Upstate area will be led by Area Executive Jimmy Gulledge. Included in this area are Greenville, S.C., Spartanburg, S.C., and surrounding communities; and the South Carolina communities of Chester, Fort Mill, Great Falls, Kershaw, Lancaster, Rock Hill and York.
  • The South Carolina West area will be led by Area Executive Chuck Perry. This area includes the bank's Northeast Georgia, North Midlands and Western Upstate markets; and the South Carolina communities of Anderson, Clemson and Greenwood.
  • The South Carolina East area will be led Area Executive Mike Wolfe. Included in this area are the bank's Grand Strand markets, Barnwell, S.C., Chesterfield, S.C., Florence, S.C., and surrounding communities; and the South Carolina communities of Dillon, Hartsville, Orangeburg and Sumter.
  • The South Carolina Southern Coastal area will be led by Area Executive Tom Trouche. This region includes the Metro Charleston and North Charleston markets; and the South Carolina communities of Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head, Lady's Island and Moncks Corner; and Savannah, Ga.

"As we position ourselves for continued success in 2015 and beyond, I am confident this experienced and knowledgeable leadership team will work hard to ensure our legacy franchise continues to thrive and prosper," said Peter Bristow, president and corporate sales executive of First Citizens. "These leaders and their teams are actively involved in their communities and are deeply committed to our collective No. 1 priority: caring for the financial needs of our customers."

At First Citizens Bank and Trust, Bryant also previously served as executive vice president and director of human resources, division executive for central South Carolina, director of the bank's Wealth Advisory Group and president of First Citizens Securities – the company's in-house broker-dealer.

Bryant is a licensed securities representative and principal. Among her many honors, she is a 2004 recipient of the Women of Distinction award given by the Girl Scouts of America. She is also a founding member of Women in Philanthropy and a Junior League Sustainer.

About First Citizens

First Citizens BancShares (Nasdaq:FCNCA), with assets of more than $30 billion, is the financial holding company for two bank subsidiaries, First Citizens Bank of North Carolina and First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc.of South Carolina, which are expected to merge early next year. Together, the two BancShares bank subsidiaries provide a broad range of financial services at 572 branches in 18 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit and First Citizens Bank. Forever First.

CONTACT: Angela English First Citizens Corporate Communications Phone: 803.931.1854 Email: Barbara Thompson First Citizens BancShares 919.716.2716Source:First Citizens BancShares, Inc.