In Wake of SunTrust Deal, Rodge Cohen Talks to American Banker and Financial Times on the Future of Bank M&A

February 7, 2019

SunTrust Banks, Inc's all-stock merger with BB&T Corporation will create the sixth-largest bank holding company in the United States based on assets and deposits – so it's no surprise that, for guidance, SunTrust turned to S&C senior chairman H. Rodgin Cohen and his decades of experience of advising on large financial sector transactions. Working with Rodge as well as partners Mitch Eitel and Marc Treviño, SunTrust and BB&T arrived at an agreement that met the needs of all parties to the deal. 
 
The merger has generated intense media interest, with analysts, pundits and reporters speculating about what the deal augurs for the future of the financial sector. They, too, have turned to Rodge and S&C for insight. In a recent interview with American Banker, Rodge dismissed speculation that the Suntrust-BB&T merger portends a wave of large M&A transactions in the near future: I think anybody who says that is engaged in stargazing or wishful thinking or both,” he said, noting that large mergers of equals such as occurred in this transaction “are difficult to negotiate.” He elaborated on this point in an interview with the Financial Times, noting that since such deals require that neither side pay a premium, “by definition…no one gets everything they want. It takes two CEOs who are willing to put their egos aside.”
 
The SunTrust-BB&T combination will see the chief executives of each bank alternate leadership of the new institution. Kelly King of BB&T is set to serve as chairman and chief executive until late 2021, when those roles will transfer to William Rogers of SunTrust. The merger is expected to close in late 2019.