Atlantic Capital sells trust business to Chattanooga group

Teresa Whitton

Atlantic Capital Bank plans to spin off its trust business to a management group that includes former Atlantic Capital President Mike Kramer and two of the leaders of the bank's investment subsidiary known as Southeastern Trust Co.

The Chattanooga- based investor group led by Kramer, Bart Rolen and Teresa Whitton plans to purchase the trust business, including the customer accounts, in early 2018, pending regulatory approval. The company currently manages about $285 million in assets and Kramer said he expects that to grow as more baby boomers retire and the economy of the Southeast continues to expand.

In an announcement of the business deal Friday, the investor group said it intends to continue to operate the business as the Southeastern Trust Co., maintain its headquarters in Chattanooga and work to provide services across the southeastern United States. Rolen, who Kramer recruited to help establish Southeastern Trust under the FSG Bank brand in 2012, will serve as CEO and Whitton, another veteran wealth management specialist who joined Southeastern Trust Co., five years ago, will serve as its president.

Kramer helped turn around the fortunes of FSG and merge the Chattanooga bank with Atlantic Capital two years ago and is retiring from Atlantic Capital at the end of the year. He will serve as executive chairman of Southeastern Trust Co.

"We believe that the timing and opportunity for a full service, locally owned and Chattanooga-headquartered trust company that can deliver trustee, investment management and family office advisory services is now," Kramer said.

The top 10 investment companies and bank trust operations currently manage about $4.5 billion in Chattanooga "and the market continues to grow," Kramer said.

Southeastern Trust Co. was founded at the former FSGBank, N.A. which was acquired by Atlantic Capital in 2015. Other employees of the 11-person Southeastern Trust Co. are expected to join the new company. The company will seek approval to operate as a Tennessee chartered trust company.

"Our team created the vision of providing a private family office service environment for our clients in 2012," said Rolen, a long-time wealth management manager for local banks who will serve as CEO of the company. "Our growth, and the confidence that the market has shown in us, over the last six years has validated our belief in that vision."

Terms of the business sale were not disclosed.

Contact Dave Flessner at [email protected] or at 423-757-6340.