First Horizon pledges continued support for Knoxville, East Tennessee

Sandra ClarkOn the Grow

Dave Miller has made it official. First Tennessee is now First Horizon.

The name change was effective at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, and Miller, East Tennessee president of the financial institution, celebrated with customers, staff and friends on Oct. 29 at Cherokee Country Club.

Customers will not notice a difference, he said. Checks and debit cards will still work; account numbers will stay the same. New signs reflecting the name change will be in place by early next year.

Dave Miller (at left) talks with state Rep. Rick Staples (back to camera) and Steve Early at the reception announcing First Tennessee’s name change to First Horizon.

Miller said the company began 155 years ago in Memphis as First National Bank. It holds the 14th oldest bank charter in the country. First Horizon’s national headquarters will remain in Memphis.

First Tennessee expanded into Knox County with the acquisition of Fountain City Bank and its branches in Halls, Powell and Fountain City. It assumed the assets and liabilities of the failed United American Bank (previously the Hamilton National Bank) in 1983. The Knoxville office continues to be headquartered in the Plaza Tower. In 1991, First Tennessee acquired Valley Fidelity Bank and Trust. In 2013, Mountain National Bank joined.

Miller cited the contributions of his predecessor, Pam Fansler, in growing the bank’s East Tennessee footprint. And he praised the local employees. “Our employees have always been our greatest asset, and I am consistently in awe of them.”

First Tennessee acquired Capital Bank in 2017, expanding into Florida and the Carolinas, creating one of the largest regional banks in the Southeast, Miller said. But it’s confusing to operate one company with two names. “This is one of the many reasons that precipitated the brand change, as we are also known as FTN Financial and FTB Advisors for our trading and wealth businesses.”

Patricia Robledo read a proclamation from Mayor Madeline Rogero. First Horizon gifted $1,000 grants to both Emerald Youth Foundation and Mobile Meals. Miller pledged First Horizon’s continued support of the University of Tennessee and UT athletics. And he noted that last year in Knoxville alone, First Tennessee had donated over $1 million to nonprofits through its Foundation and other resources. Bank employees volunteered nearly 7,000 hours.

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