Synovus Financial Corporation
Synovus Financial Corporation, based in Columbus, provides a diverse array of financial services through its banks and subsidiaries, as well as through Total System Services Incorporated (TSYS), a global electronic payment–processing operation also based in Columbus.
In 1971 James H. Blanchard succeeded his father as the top executive at CB&T. Together with William B. Turner, who was chairman of the executive committee, he led the company to its current status as one of the largest financial institutions in the Southeast. Due in large part to Blanchard's efforts to rally support, the Georgia legislature passed the multibank holding company bill in 1976, and CB&T Bancshares, Inc., became the first bank holding company in the state. CB&T Bancshares began to expand into other southeastern states, and in 1989 Blanchard changed its name to Synovus Financial Corporation.
Synovus is known for its family-friendly corporate culture and has consistently been named by Fortune magazine as one of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" in America. The practice of "servant leadership," a philosophy based on teamwork and recognition of each individual employee's worth, is a key component of the company's management style. This philosophy extends to Synovus's network of banks as well. A community-focused, decentralized management structure allows the banks to remain autonomous and to employ their own local chief executive officers and boards of directors.
A multibillion-dollar company, Synovus operates under a board of directors and trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Between 1979 and 1999 the company's stock generated the second-highest return on the NYSE. The company appeared in the Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods "Honor Roll" of top-performing banks each year from 1991 to 2004.
U.S. Banker magazine named Blanchard one of the "25 Most Influential People in Financial Services" for 2005. Blanchard retired from his position as chief executive officer of Synovus in 2005 to become chairman of the board. He was succeeded by chief operating officer Richard E. Anthony, who also serves as the advisory director of TSYS.
Dave DeWitte, "Georgia's Synovus Corp. Shows How to Be a Top Employer," Savannah Morning News, June 13, 1999.
Aimee E. Davis, Synovus
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