Regions Bank on Wednesday announced Nikki Stephenson has been elevated to serve as head of Corporate Development.
In this role, Stephenson will lead the bank’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy, identifying opportunities for Regions to further expand its range of specialty capabilities and high-value financial services for clients across the banking sector. Recent examples of Regions’ successful M&A strategy include the acquisitions of home improvement point-of-sale lender EnerBank, diversified financial services firm Sabal Capital Partners, LLC, and Clearsight Advisors, Inc., which provides M&A advisory services for business clients.
Stephenson will also manage Regions’ Equity Investment Program, which provides strategic equity primarily in financial technology companies, many of which serve the bank in a vendor capacity.
Stephenson brings 20 years of banking experience to her new role. Previously, she served as head of Regions’ Commercial Credit Products organization, where she led the bank’s successful implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. This coordinated effort, with participation from teams across the bank, provided $6.7 billion in commitments for 79,000 PPP loans to help small businesses weather economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to her role within Credit Products, Stephenson was a senior originator in the Corporate and Leveraged Finance group within Regions’ Capital Markets division. Her diverse background includes years of capital-raising experience for middle market clients, large corporate companies, and private equity firms.
Stephenson will report to Regions Chief Financial Officer David Turner.
“Our approach to mergers and acquisitions at Regions includes identifying areas where we can expand our range of specialty capabilities for existing clients, while also attracting new clients who can benefit from the additional experience and capabilities we have brought into the bank,” Turner said. “Over the last several months, we have made significant progress in expanding Regions’ ability to serve more people and businesses by welcoming companies such as EnerBank, Sabal Capital Partners, and Clearsight Advisors. Those acquisitions follow prior deals completed over the past six years, including Ascentium Capital, Highland Associates, First Sterling Financial, and BlackArch Partners. Nikki’s range of experience, and her strategic insights into the products and services that are in greatest demand throughout our footprint, will help us advance our strategic plan and build more long-term, sustainable growth.”
In 2020, Stephenson was named to American Banker magazine’s list of “Most Powerful Women: Next.” The publication noted “her exceptional work ethic and proven ability to galvanize colleagues to initiate change.” Stephenson will leverage both qualities, and more, in leading the Corporate Development team for Regions.
“Regions operates in some of the best markets in the country, including high-growth cities and states across the Southeast, Texas, and the Midwest,” Stephenson said. “With that population and business growth comes an even greater opportunity to grow our own business by connecting with new clients and adding further capabilities to meet the unique financial needs of consumers and companies alike. I am proud to lead Regions’ Corporate Development efforts. The work of this team, not just in 2021 but in previous years as well, is impressive and reflects Regions’ commitment to pursue M&A opportunities that allow us to meet our strategic growth priorities. I look forward to further growing Regions’ capabilities and our brand of superior service.”
Stephenson earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami.
(News Release provided by Regions Bank)