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Kelleher exits BB&T as bank regulators approve merger with SunTrust

Bruce Kelleher, head of investment banking at BB&T, left the investment bank after more than a decade, three sources said.

Kelleher departed BB&T a week ago, people said. He originally joined BB&T Capital Markets in 2004, a statement said. He worked as a managing director with BB&T’s M&A group from 2004 to 2006, according to PitchBook.

In 2008, Kelleher assumed responsibility for managing the bank’s PE relationships, the release said. He was named head of equity investment banking in 2016, while continuing to lead financial sponsor coverage. He is also a former managing director of Allied Capital.

Kelleher left BB&T to join Harris Williams, the people said. It’s unclear what his position will be at the middle market investment bank.

Kelleher’s departure comes as federal bank regulator earlier this week approved the $66 billion merger of SunTrust Banks and BB&T. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC signed off on the deal on Nov. 19.

The merger is expected to create the nation’s sixth largest bank, according to press reports. BB&T in February said it would buy SunTrust for $28.24 billion. The deal is the biggest bank merger since the 2008 financial crisis, CNBC said.

BB&T has around 37,000 employees while SunTrust has roughly 22,000 people, reports said. “We’re all evaluating options,” one BB&T investment banker said.

A SunTrust spokeswoman referred messages to BB&T, which declined comment. Harris Williams could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Here’s the investor presentation for the BB&T-SunTrust merger.