When TD Bank completes its purchase of First Horizon Corp., expected within weeks, it will have elevated its North Florida presence on four fronts:
• The pending acquisition of First Horizon, anticipated to close by the end of January.
• Creation of a newly designed community banking center with plans for more.
• The opening of an expanded customer contact center.
• More high-profile community leadership.
Nick Miceli, TD Bank Florida regional president, said that Northeast Florida is attracting new business and population and remains affordable.
“I think it’s just going to continue,” he said.
TD Bank is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, a top 10 financial services company in North America.
The bank entered the Jacksonville market in 2010 when it acquired The South Financial Group and then rebranded Mercantile Bank as TD Bank in 2011. The South Financial Group was the parent company of Mercantile Bank.
As of June 30, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data found that TD Bank had five branches in the Jacksonville metropolitan area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties with $1.1 billion in deposits and 1.07% of the market share.
A sixth opened in October and a seventh is scheduled to open in spring 2023.
More will join the fold with First Horizon’s two area offices – Downtown and in Ponte Vedra Beach. That also brings the TD Bank name to the Downtown Northbank.
“TD Bank has been a part of the Jacksonville community for more than a decade and we’ve witnessed the population and workforce rapidly expand over the last few years,” Miceli said at the Oct. 10 ribbon-cutting to open the customer contact center in Deerwood North.
“We look forward to growing here and across Florida for years to come.”
TD Bank said in July it employs about 440 people in Jacksonville.
TD’s North Florida market comprises 21 counties in Northeast and Central Florida, where it has more than 1,600 employees among 66 stores, which is what it calls branches, and several regional offices in that area.
TD Bank has 159 branches, which it calls stores, and more than 2,600 employees in the state.
TD said plans include further expansion in Florida in 2023. It said the state could support up to 30 more stores over the next five years.
First Horizon purchase brings TD Bank to the Northbank
TD Bank Group announced an agreement Feb. 28, 2022, to buy Memphis-based First Horizon Corp. for $13.4 billion in cash.
The closing, scheduled by the end of January, takes TD Bank to the Downtown Northbank, where First Horizon put up its name after completing its 2020 merger with IberiaBank Corp.
The First Horizon name replaced IberiaBank at 135 W. Bay St. on Feb. 20, 2022, just a week before the TD Bank agreement was announced.
First Horizon has one other Jacksonville area branch in Ponte Vedra Beach.
As of June 30, the FDIC data shows that First Horizon, based in Memphis, Tennessee, has two Jacksonville market branches with $209 million in deposits and 0.2% of the market share.
It puts TD Bank on both sides of the St. Johns River Downtown. TD Bank already operates on the Downtown Southbank along Prudential Drive.
Miceli said the Ponte Vedra Beach location is one “which I’ve coveted for some time now.”
“Five years ago, we were looking at site locations up and down the beach and there were a couple that had been presented to me and I said no,” Miceli said.
“I saw the Iberia branch that was there and I said to our team, that’s what I want. That is the kind of location that I want. It’s out in the open, free-standing, it’s inviting.
“Fast forward five years later, we’re in the process of an acquisition that will give me that store that I had coveted for so long.”
TD Bank said the transaction is scheduled to close in the first quarter of its fiscal year, which is November-January, and is subject to closing conditions that include approvals from First Horizon’s shareholders and U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities.
TD Bank said the addition of First Horizon’s 412 branches will give it 1,560 offices in 22 states and make it the sixth largest U.S. bank with $614 billion in assets.
“From the minute that we announced the acquisition, we were very clear that we are not going to close any locations,” Miceli said.
As far as merging staffs, Miceli said the idea is to ensure that “we can try to find homes for folks.”
“Until we get regulatory approval, we have to wait before we can start that process.”
In a conference call to discuss the merger, TD Bank officials said there is minimal overlap of its branches with First Horizon.
“The bulk of the overlap is in the state of Florida and the state of Florida is a priority market for us,” said Leo Salom, group head of U.S. retail, according to a transcript of the call posted by the company.
“From a front-facing branch perspective, we will certainly retain the branch network,” he said.
TD Bank’s Jacksonville headquarters is in Deerwood Park in the Tinseltown area.
The bank said there has been no talk of TD Bank moving the local headquarters into the First Horizon space.
TD Bank adding branches and new formats
TD Bank, taglined America’s Most Convenient Bank, opened its newest Jacksonville area store Oct. 24 at 5665 Normandy Blvd., near Ellis Road South, in West Jacksonville.
It is the bank’s first community-centered store, providing a dedicated space for community members and TD Bank employees “to meet, educate and provide resources about financial health.”
It is TD’s fifth location in Jacksonville and the third to open in 2022 after branches launched in Julington Creek and on the Southbank.
TD Bank said the Normandy store also reflects TD’s commitment to open about 25% of new stores in majority-minority communities.
Miceli said the “community-formatted” store reflects the banking environment where customers are making fewer transactions in the store because of the move toward online banking.
“It’s more now of an advice and guidance concept,” he said.
Customers “still want to see a person when they have those life moments,” he said, such as determining whether they can afford to buy a house.
“There’s almost a whole generation of individuals that have never truly understood what a higher interest rate environment means and what they thought they might be able to afford even six months ago has changed significantly,” he said.
“The concept of advice and guidance is more important than ever.”
He said those store formats provide easier one-on-one conversations with desks that can be height-adjusted for typical teller transactions to sit-down discussions.
The office also has community space with a large TV that can be engaged for events such as homebuyer seminars, financial classes, presentations, and for use by nonprofits.
TD also is renovating its Mandarin branch at 10304 San Jose Blvd. at a cost of $157,000. The almost 3,700-square-foot store was built in 1987 and is expected to be converted into the new format by winter 2023.
Contact center hiring 200
TD Bank is hiring more than 200 employees to staff its new customer contact center at 4600 Touchton Road E. in the Deerwood North office park.
The bank completed renovations of the 30,000-square-foot space to serve customers across the TD network, including the bank’s credit card customer base. The call center primarily will be focused on answering customer questions on credit cards including TD’s offerings, credit card best practices and any fraud concerns.
It intends to complete staffing by early 2023.
TD Bank celebrated the renovation Oct. 10.
The bank announced in July 2021 that it leased 30,031 square feet of office space for the new customer contact center in Deerwood North and would bring more than 250 jobs to Northeast Florida over two years, including the 200 customer service jobs and 50 positions to branches.
The city issued a permit Oct. 4, 2021, for Ajax Building, based in Oldsmar, to renovate the call center space for TD Bank on the third floor at a cost of $4.8 million.
TD Auto Finance already leases the fourth floor.
The contact center space is near the TD leadership offices and a branch at 9715 Gate Parkway N.
Bank leadership taking more civic roles
TD Bank North Florida Market President Cindy Stover, long a volunteer in Northeast Florida community and business organizations, takes on a high-profile role in 2023.
Stover will be the 2023 chair of JAXUSA Partnership, the JAX Chamber’s economic development division that covers the seven-county Northeast Florida region. As such, she will be involved in executive-level travel and recruitment and preside over the quarterly meetings that bring in big-name speakers.
Stover has been a Jacksonville banker since 1983 and is a member of the Jacksonville Civic Council.
“We’ve always been involved,” Miceli said. “I think you’re seeing more of us because of the investments that we’re making.”
He said that branch coverage is “starting to catch up” with TD Bank’s civic engagement.
“We are becoming really part of the fabric of the community.”
Stover earned a shout-out after Firehouse Subs co-founder Robin Sorensen, who, with his brother and other partners, sold the company for $1 billion in December 2021.
Sorensen said Stover had been Jacksonville-based Firehouse Subs’ banker since the 1990s when she was with Mercantile Bank and then TD.
He said that through Stover, he and his partners developed a relationship with TD Securities, which advised Firehouse in its sale to Restaurant Brands International Inc.