EverBank Financial Corp. will continue to be based in Jacksonville after its acquisition by TIAA, expected midyear, but its name going forward hasn’t been decided.
That means for now, the EverBank name remains on the buildings it leases and on EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The name will be decided on what TIAA President and CEO Roger W. Ferguson Jr. said was “marketing science.”
“We want to make sure it’s thoughtfully done,” Ferguson told reporters after he spoke Tuesday to more than 500 members and guests at a quarterly JAXUSA Partnership meeting.
“It takes some time to do the kinds of surveys that are called for to figure out what does the brand stand for? How well known is it?” he said.
Such a review does not happen quickly, he said, and the company is under no pressure to do anything quickly.
Ferguson acknowledged the presence of the EverBank name in Jacksonville.
“We’re deeply respectful of the fact that the name has a huge presence here. I totally understand that,” he said.
The name is of special interest in Jacksonville because of EverBank Field, the city’s football stadium where the Jaguars play.
EverBank and the team signed a five-year, $16.6 million naming rights deal in 2010 and agreed to a 10-year, $43 million extension in 2014.
“TIAA is committed to continuing the positive relationship that EverBank and the Jacksonville Jaguars have had over the past few years,” Ferguson said during his presentation.
He said not all of the post-acquisition decisions have been made, but he wanted JAXUSA to hear from him “that we are completely committed to supporting the kinds of things that EverBank has been doing historically here, including the … positive relationship around the stadium and the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
For now, however, the acquisition must be completed.
“We’re focusing now on planning for the transition,” Ferguson said at the meeting at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
New York-based TIAA, a financial services company, agreed in August to buy EverBank for about $2.5 billion. At the time of the announcement, EverBank, a nationwide consumer and commercial bank, had $27.4 billion in assets and TIAA had $889 billion in assets under management.
TIAA announced previously its St. Louis-based bank subsidiary will merge with EverBank and the headquarters of the merged bank will be in Jacksonville.
The acquisition depends on regulatory review, which Ferguson said he thinks is pretty well advanced.
“So we hope that it won’t be too much longer, but we said historically sometime in the first half of this year,” he said. “We still feel that’s a safe statement, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.”
JAXUSA Partnership is the economic-development division of JAX Chamber. Its mission and efforts are to pursue jobs and capital investment to the seven-county Northeast Florida region.
EverBank employs 2,907 people, including 1,675 in Jacksonville, the bank said Tuesday. Asked by a reporter whether TIAA would move some employees to Jacksonville, Ferguson said there were no plans of doing so now.
“We have to see how things unfold in the future,” he said.
Ferguson emphasized that the acquisition and transition are being done “very methodically, very thoughtfully, very carefully.”
Current EverBank Chairman and CEO Robert Clements has announced he will retire when the acquisition is complete. EverBank President and Chief Operating Officer Blake Wilson will become president and CEO of the merged bank.
Ferguson said during the presentation that Kathie Andrade, the CEO of TIAA’s Retail Financial Services business and board chair for TIAA Direct, will be the merged banks’ chair.
“It’s going to be a great leadership team,” he said.
Andrade was named one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Finance” in 2015 and 2016 by American Banker.
Asked by JAXUSA Chair Tim Cost about the business environment under the new presidential administration, Ferguson said he saw “two or three big questions that are in front of us.”
He said Trump ran on a platform that included ensuring jobs, increasing growth, deregulation, and reduced taxes, among other elements.
“I think there are many things in that platform that all of us would agree with, right?” he said.
“I think many of us were hoping that as all of this unfolds, that we develop a new approach that is done in a way that is high on facts, high on analysis, low on decibels,” Ferguson said.
“Everyone has these types of real interests in moving the country forward together in a unified way that allows us to be the best of ourselves, the best of America, and show … what a really good, functioning democracy can look like, even in the face of contentious issues,” he said.