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M. Terry Turner
I worked at Pinnacle Financial Partners
Pros – Pinnacle understands that having a stake in the company motivates the employees. It is a lesson that a lot of companies need to learn. They retain their people because they give them what they want. Money. However, bonuses are dependent on the profitability of the company. Everyone has to pull their weight to achieve the required goals for bonus payout.
They only hire experienced people, with a few exceptions. The non-banking back office staff are not always experienced when compared to the bank tellers, loan officers, investment brokers, etc. By hiring experienced people, you ensure the customer is taken care of appropriately. This is a big reason they are so successful.
The CEO and quite a few other senior executives are approachable and friendly. They don't treat even the lowest paid employee as if they are beneath them. This is a breath of fresh air when compared to a lot of the executives at other companies within Nashville.
Cons – You will work more than 40 hours a week for most positions. Certain sections run lean. Pinnacle does not hire strangers. Everyone at the company, outside of employees acquired through acquisitions, is known by someone already within the company. This keeps them from hiring "surprises", but it hurts them when they need to fill specific positions within IT or other support entities. Politics will come into play when dealing with certain executives and managers, but that is typical of most companies.
Advice to Senior Management – None
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend
2009-08-04 10:35 PDT
I worked at Pinnacle Financial Partners
Pros – The level of knowledge and experience at Pinnacle is second to none. There are tremendously smart and talented people throughout the organization. Opportunities exist to learn a great deal about banking and financial services from the wealth of information and experience of the professionals that work there.
Terry Turner and Rob McCabe are two of the best in the business. Terry is a terrific visionary and leader. His is very approachable and listens well to others in the firm. Rob is a hard charging, driven individual that once set in motion will continue to move forward until the job is done. Both are charismatic people that have the respect not only within the organization, but also throughout Tennessee and the Southeast US.
Cons – Pinnacle is a high pressure environment. Though Balance (as in balancing work and family or balancing short and long term goals) is one of the core values of the firm, it is often cast aside for another core value - Results. Quarterly results have become a huge driver of activities within the firm - primarily because recent quarters have been negative. The firm likes to stay very lean in all areas operationally, yet still pushes for distinctive service and effective advice. It is extremely difficult to be both distinctive and effective when you are constantly juggling multiple activities. There are individuals on the leadership team that simply do not understand this challenge, yet constantly drive to achieve results.
One of Pinnacle's primary business plan objectives is to hire experienced people. On paper (and often in execution) this is a great idea. But, the hidden rule within this policy is that Pinnacle's management expects you to stay in that role indefinitely (and be happy with that role). Once hired at Pinnacle as a teller, financial adviser, or somewhere in operations, you're pretty much locked in for your tenure. There is almost no opportunity for career advancement at Pinnacle. More than once I've heard members of the leadership team say - "if you hire experienced people to perform a job, not only are they usually going to be better at that role, but they're also going to be tired of trying to climb the corporate ladder." Pinnacle is simply not a good company for anyone interested in growing in their career.
Finally, there are still multiple cultures within Pinnacle. Despite having years of experience and many, many acquisitions under their belts (several of the leadership team were heavily involved in acquisitions while executives at First American), the leadership team failed to execute well on the acquisitions of Cavalry Bancorp and Mid American Bancshares. Pinnacle was originally designed to be a high service niche bank for small business and the owners of small businesses. Cavalry and MAB were mass market banks serving mostly consumers. With these acquisitions, the leadership is trying to be all things to all people. Visit an office in Mt. Juliet and the service level will be different than that provided in Murfreesboro which will be different than the service level at a Nashville based office. The recent quarters reporting losses have compounded this challenge internally as many associates that have years of experience at Pinnacle point to these acquisitions as the primary driver for the failed quarterly results.
Advice to Senior Management – Pinnacle recently added Discipline as a firm value. Much of the focus on Discipline feels outward in the execution - i.e. associates need to be more disciplined in completing loan reviews, associates need to be more disciplined in following up on problem loans, associates need to be more disciplined in daily operations, etc. Will the leadership team have discipline and fully vet the next acquisition? Will the leadership have discipline in their message to all offices and staff? Will the leadership committee discipline fellow leadership team members that do not uphold the other values of the firm?
The firm is going through some difficult challenges and must overcome them. It is my opinion that the leadership team at Pinnacle is too busy looking outward for the solution. They should look inward. The leadership team is too large. Much of this stems from another Pinnacle business plan objective - keep the organizational chart from having multiple layers. This is a great feel good belief, but in practice has resulted in people being on the leadership team that clearly do not belong there. Alleviate this pressure by changing the culture and developing an organizational chart that makes sense. Properly done, this can create a couple of positive results. First, it can improve communications. Terry is a masterful communicator, but he can't do it all by himself. There are people on the leadership team that are not good at communicating and often generate mis-communication errors. Get them off the leadership team and into a mid-level management role where they belong or get rid of them. Second, having an organizational chart can serve as a map for associates interested in growing their careers. While there is no room for advancement today, establishing a good structure can show people interested in growing where to go and how they could get there.
2010-09-22 06:27 PDT
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