At Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., commitment to the community and its members plays a big role in shaping its business model.
From capital raising to loan servicing, from private operator to REIT, and from community capital to seniors housing, SunTrust operates a full suite of commercial real estate banking services.
The company’s foundation, however, lies in its purpose. SunTrust is dedicated to “Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being” for the people, businesses and communities it serves. SunTrust leads OnUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. The initiative is an integral part of the bank’s strategic partnership with its hometown baseball team, the Atlanta Braves. (The team’s new ballpark bears the bank’s name, SunTrust Park.)
Kathy Farrell has served as head of the bank’s commercial real estate line of business since August 2016, and has been with the company since 2013. The company has a corporate focus on the Sunbelt, which Farrell says has its advantages.
“If you look at where the growth in this country is, so much of it is in the Sunbelt states,” says Farrell. Farrell cites economic growth, corporate relocations, a favorable business environment, strong colleges and institutions and great weather as reasons why there has been so much growth and migration into Southeast markets.
“Having a major presence in Atlanta and having people on the ground in all of the major cities in the Southeast have been great benefits for us during this real estate cycle,” says Farrell. “It’s been a great time to be a real estate lender in this region.” In its third Executive Q&A feature, Southeast Real Estate Business spoke with Farrell about SunTrust’s commitment to the Atlanta community, the company’s growth strategy and her outlook on the future of the company and commercial real estate as a whole.