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Behind the Business: Pinnacle Financial Partners Grows in North Carolina

The Southeast is home to numerous banks and financial institutions, each of which has its own story and mission. Entering into this landscape in 2000, a group of business leaders in Nashville had the unique challenge of building something different from scratch. The end result: Pinnacle Financial Partners. As Joe Calloway wrote in a case study about the bank’s origins: “The coolest thing about business is that it is a wildly creative endeavor, or can be, if you do it right.” To stand out amongst their competitors, Pinnacle embraced that creativity and today, operates their people-centric approach in five states across 111 offices, with $4.9 billion in loans and $3.9 billion in deposits here in North Carolina.

Pinnacle Financial Partners expanded into North Carolina in 2017 with the purchase of the former Bank of North Carolina. Since then, the institution has been recognized for its rapid growth and commitment to its communities in the Triad, Triangle, Charlotte, Asheville and across the state. Key to their growth, leaders agree, is Pinnacle’s commitment to its associates and clients. Pinnacle has consistently ranked highly on various best places to work lists, most recently cracking the top 15 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Unique benefits for their associates could be some of the reasons behind these accolades. From annual cash incentives ranging from 10-20% of base pay given to all non-commissioned associates and a three-day orientation for new team members led by the CEO and senior leadership, to celebrations of fun holidays like National Oreo Day and “Make a Difference Day” community volunteering events, it’s clear that Pinnacle is invested in their company culture.

That commitment to people doesn’t stop internally, however. One practice that sets Pinnacle apart in serving their clients has to do with hiring: the organization only hires professionals with several years’ experience. According to Pinnacle: “This approach means clients get the benefit of expert advisors who have a heart to serve and are team players, so they are also a good fit for the firm’s unique culture.” Pinnacle also gives each associate a WOW budget to help them serve their clients better. Rather than purchasing branded items like pens or notebooks, Pinnacle encourages its associates to be creative in making a WOW experience for those around them. They tell us: “Associates have used the WOW budget for everything from helping a client pay a utility bill to having lunch with a client in an assisted living facility to throwing a shower for a couple who were expecting their first child and tight on money.”

Creativity and a people-centric culture are the drivers behind Pinnacle Financial Partners’ continued growth in North Carolina. As the organization looks to the future, it will keep an emphasis on serving people internally and externally at the forefront.

Behind each business in North Carolina are the ideas, partnerships and people that fuel our state’s success. Behind each business is a story and a vision for the future. As the voice for business, the NC Chamber is committed to telling these stories and highlighting the organizations and people that keep our state moving forward. Behind the Business is a series of profiles featuring NC Chamber Cornerstone members doing great work in North Carolina. Interested in being featured? Contact