Journey to Successful Growth

Pinnacle knows that the key to long term shareholder returns is smart, sustainable growth. That growth is a journey, starting with excited associates who provide unmatched service to engage clients, which leads to the profitability that ultimately enriches our shareholders.

Our growth starts at the very beginning, with hiring of the very best financial services professionals in each market we serve. To fulfill our promise of providing distinctive service and effective advice to all clients, we have to attract happy, successful people.

We then create an environment where they can do their best work. Associates must be so energized that they can’t wait to get to the office every morning and pass that excitement on to their clients. Building the top workplace culture in the industry serves as a magnet to draw the best associates to our firm.

of non-commissioned associates take part in our cash incentive program.
Our team in Easley, South Carolina celebrated Halloween by hosting a game of The Price is Right in the office. Clients were contestants and had the chance to win prizes by playing the ever-popular Plinko.

Pinnacle’s culture is defined by ownership and engagement.

All associates think and act like owners because they are: they all receive restricted shares of stock on their first day and again annually after that. They are also all personally invested in the firm’s performance because they receive cash incentives when the company meets annual goals.

That’s unheard of in the financial industry: 100 percent of non-commissioned associates take part in the cash incentive program based entirely on meeting firm-wide financial targets designed for long-term growth. That means lenders and credit advisors have personal interest in revenues and credit quality. It means back-office support and client-facing associates are motivated to process transactions with speed and accuracy. It means every associate — all 2,200 — are pulling in the same direction.

Incentives and compensation are great perks, but associates must also love the work they do. That’s why engagement is also central to our culture. It takes shape every day in big and small ways, from CEO-led orientation sessions to spontaneous rewards and thank you notes for a job well done.

Throughout the year, associates find ways to connect with each other to celebrate their work or just have fun. Each market hosts events like a family night at the baseball game, a spring picnic or a party to celebrate a new award or strong team effort.

Our associate wellness program also motivates everyone to get active and make healthy choices. In 2017, 43 percent of associates who took part in the wellness screening maintained or improved their overall scores.

When we founded the company in 2000, we chose culture as our weapon of choice in the fight against the Goliaths of big banking. It’s worked, driving outsized growth by attracting and retaining the very best professionals in our markets who can deliver distinctive service to clients and produce the returns our shareholders want.

The best place to work in the Southeast

Awards, independent research and internal surveys show Pinnacle is building one of the country’s top workplaces. The Great Place to Work® Institute, the global authority on high-performance workplace cultures, surveyed our associates in 2017 and found that:

  • 99 percent take great pride in their workplace
  • 98 percent say their workplace has a great atmosphere
  • 98 percent say there is great communication
  • 97 percent say they have great bosses
  • 96 percent say people care about each other

As a result, Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE magazine ranked Pinnacle No. 34 on its list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the country. This was the first year we were eligible for the list, which evaluates firms with at least 1,000 employees.

In addition, the financial services industry’s leading trade publication, American Banker, ranked Pinnacle No. 6 on its “Best Banks to Work For” list and interviewed President and CEO Terry Turner about what it takes to maintain a great culture during a merger event.

The keys, Turner said, were to find a bank that is the right fit and to start cultural integration right away. When it came to our acquisition of BNC Bancorp, that meant scheduling orientation sessions for those associates. Turner personally led 10 three-day sessions in High Point, North Carolina, reaching 558 associates with the company’s history, mission, vision and values. Pinnacle also held four orientation sessions in Nashville that culminated with team-building activities at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans.

of our associates take great pride in their workplace.
Financial Advisor Jerry Hampton explains how each associate will get over a 12-foot wall during an orientation session in High Point, North Carolina.

Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE magazine honored Pinnacle with two additional workplace awards, including Best Companies to Work For in Financial Services and Insurance and Best Workplaces for Women. We also earned a spot on People magazine’s list of 50 Companies that Care for the way we treat associates and contribute to the community.

Local awards continued to stack up, too, with Pinnacle taking home the top prize for Best Place to Work from the Memphis Business Journal and earning the award for Top Workplace from the Knoxville News Sentinel, both in the mid-size business category. We also hosted a summit of business leaders from across Nashville to hear Turner and our financial advisor experts give the Keys to a Great Workplace.

Awards are meaningful and a good measure of success, but when it comes to continuous improvement in our culture, we rely on internal surveys. Every year, we ask associates to fill out a work environment survey to find what we’re doing right and what can improve. Even through mergers and change, our scores continue to be extremely high.

One of the goals of creating a great workplace culture is to engage associates so that they spend their careers with Pinnacle. Turnover is a major irritant for clients, so driving it out of our system is a successful strategy in giving them continuity and great service. And it works: in 2017, our total retention rate – minus merger-related position eliminations – was 91.5 percent. Compare that to the industry average of 75.5 percent, and you can see why Pinnacle is seen as recognizably better than the competition.

Supporting the communities that support us

When banks invest in communities, they both win. Part of Pinnacle’s mission since the firm’s founding has been to make a significant positive impact on the communities we serve. As individuals and as a firm, we believe banks have a responsibility to help protect and grow their communities so all citizens can thrive. We work toward that end by investing time and money into causes that make a difference.

Our associates donated more than 32,000 volunteer hours to 800 not-for-profit groups in 2017. The list of volunteer projects is much too long to list in full, so we update our Facebook page regularly with photos of community involvement, associate awards and partner events throughout the year.

Each year we host our own “Make a Difference Day.” We encourage teams throughout the entire footprint to use this day to take part in a service project that is important to them. For some, it means spending a half-day volunteering for a non-profit. For others, it means collecting gift baskets for clients who are battling cancer. Big or small, we know every effort makes a difference in someone’s life.

When deciding where to invest in our communities, we first look at the organizations in which our associates are involved to support the causes that they put so much time and energy into. We primarily make contributions to organizations in four categories: education; health and human services; arts; and economic development.

Our firm has serviced 1,033 Habitat home loans with a total value of more than $42.9 million.
Pinnacle was the first corporate sponsor of the High Point Community Foundation’s Women in Motion initiative. Led by a group of women including Pinnacle associates, Women in Motion was formed to combine charitable donations and provide significant grants focused on the critical needs of women, children and families living in the greater High Point community.
Affordable Housing: Pinnacle’s Top Community Priority

Homeownership changes lives and transforms neighborhoods for the benefit of all who live there. That’s why we strive to ensure affordable housing in our markets as a cornerstone of our community involvement. Pinnacle has long been involved with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (FHLB), helping secure nearly $15.8 million in grants since 2003, which we have used to:

  • Provide financing for 560 new affordable single-family units, 128 new affordable rental units and 143 rehabilitated rental units
  • Provide down payment assistance for 307 affordable single-family homes
  • Help more than 79 families remain in their homes using grant funding and counseling services; also assisted 43 additional families with funding from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency

Pinnacle also has a long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity in both volunteer hours and funding. Our firm has serviced 1,033 Habitat home loans with a total value of more than $42.9 million – at no cost to Habitat or the homeowner.

In 2013, Pinnacle began an Individual Development Account program to match clients’ down payment funds. The clients must be referred to Pinnacle by one of our affordable housing partners and have contributed regularly to a savings account for at least six months. Pinnacle matched up to $1,000 for 52 clients in 2017 for a total of 135 clients since the program began.