SouthState Bank Forms Small Business Banking Team for Southeast

SouthState Bank recently launched a small business banking team to meet demand in its southeastern footprint. In connection with the launch, the bank promoted Matt Vegter to director of small business banking to grow and serve SouthState’s small business sector.

“Offering our small business customers a line of products that fits their needs, accompanied by well-rounded, knowledgeable bankers and a library of small business resources, are enhancements we know business owners across the Southeast will benefit from,” Richard Murray, president of SouthState Bank, said. “Small business owners make local economies thrive, and SouthState is committed to supporting both.”

A banker for 15 years, Vegter helped to develop Business Lending Express, a small business loan program at SouthState that streamlines and simplifies the underwriting process for small business loans. This program created efficiencies for both the bank and small business clients by decreasing loan origination costs and reducing the time to decision.

Vegter has built a team of small business bankers, pulling from capable bankers at SouthState and other financial institutions. Members of the team include:

  • Jack Baker, who has 16 years of banking experience, most recently serving as SouthState branch manager in Jacksonville, FL. He has also held the roles of assistant branch manager, mortgage loan officer and teller during his career.
  • Holton Bell, who joined SouthState after several years working in client relations, most recently at Addicus in Alabama. He has experience as a private banker at BBVA Compass Bank and as a financial advisor at Raymond James.
  • Krystle Mall, who is moving into a small business banking role after 10 years as a SouthState branch manager, most recently in Gastonia, NC, after relocating from the Myrtle Beach/Conway area of South Carolina, where she began her banking career with SouthState in 2004.
  • Ross Marley, who will continue to serve the Charleston, SC, market. Marley most recently served as a business banker before joining the small business team. A member of SouthState since 2015, he has also worked as a financial services representative and lead credit analyst.
  • Mike Marshall, who joined SouthState from Intercoastal Financial Group in Fort Pierce, FL, where he served as a finance broker since 2018, cultivating relationships with dealers, brokers and lenders. Marshall’s past career roles include director of retail sales, market sales manager and general manager at Drivetime.
  • Ray Merritt, who joined SouthState as a financial services representative in 2011, holding roles of increasing responsibility ever since. Most recently, Merritt served as the branch manager in Conway, SC, where his branch led the Grand Strand market in South Carolina in goals for two consecutive years.
  • Brian Moon, who moved from a branch manager role in Tucker, GA, to the small business banking team. He has almost 20 years of banking experience from working at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, SunTrust and SouthState.
  • Adam Odom, who joined the small business team after seven years as a branch manager for SouthState in Columbia, SC. He began his career in banking in 2001, previously working at Wells Fargo, SunTrust and BB&T.
  • Lauren Thompson, who spent the last eight years serving SouthState’s Richmond, VA, market as a branch manager before moving to small business banking. She gained additional experience as a personal banker for First Enterprise Bank and a retail banker with Woodforest National Bank.

SouthState also expanded its private wealth and middle-market banking teams, hiring Phillip R. Garrison as a private wealth advisor, Mike Maguire as a private wealth relationship manager, Mia Mendez as a private wealth associate and Brian Combs as a middle-market business development executive.

Garrison will be based in Charlotte, NC. He has experience in trust administration and insurance consulting. Prior to joining SouthState, he was a senior fiduciary officer for a large national bank.

Maguie will be based in Jacksonville, FL. He spent 16 years with a large regional bank and managed in wealth division in north Florida for the last 10 years. In addition, his career experience includes 23 years with Barnett Bank in various leadership roles throughout the state of Florida.

Mendez will also be based in Jacksonville, FL. She joined SouthState following a 10-year career at Truist. She will support Maguire, whom she worked with previously in Jacksonville under the BB&T banner. During her 17 years in the financial services industry, Mendez has held roles including banker assistant, foreclosure specialist and wealth support specialist.

Combs will be based in Richmond, VA. He most recently worked as a member of the Mid-Atlantic corporate banking group at PNC, where he managed relationships with mid-sized and large companies headquartered throughout most of Virginia. Previously, Combs also held relationship management roles in middle-market banking at Wells Fargo and corporate banking at SunTrust.

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