Enriched Shareholders

We’ve built a lot over the course of the last 20 years. We built one of the best workplaces in the country for our associates, one of the best places to do business for our clients and an upstanding and responsible firm for our communities and in our industry.

All of that together has helped build one of the strongest, most reliable patterns of shareholder returns in the marketplace.

Compared to our peers, just one bank has a higher percentage growth in share price life to date.

Total Shareholder Return

We did it by exciting our associates, working with them to create a top-tier workplace and motivating them with a common incentive structure. We did it by engaging our clients, making it easy for them to do business with us and giving them direct access to decision makers with a model of local control instead of lines of business. We did it by building a culture of service and advice instead of sales pressure.

That’s always been our model, and our unique culture makes it all possible. They are always what we point to for our outsized success.

More tactically, our culture allows us to attract the very best financial talent in our markets and give them the freedom to move their books of business. That’s how we take market share from our competitors and grow our firm even when demand softens.

We put a premium on people and are willing to pay for them because we know they are the difference maker at our firm.

Generally, our revenue producing associates each return two-and-a-half times the cost of their salary and benefits.

It’s hard to argue with those numbers on a ledger, and in 2020 we also had the opportunity to show the incalculable impact our associates made on the bottom line and the future of this firm.

increase in revenue over 2019
loan growth to $22.5 billion, with momentum building in 3Q and 4Q
loan growth excluding PPP
4Q20 portfolio yield
growth in total deposits to $27.7 billion
growth in core deposits to $23.5 billion

Many banks could have hit a brick wall in 2020. Though we had terrific momentum to start the year, in mid-March it looked like the entire industry might be stopped in its tracks. The economy ground to a halt, businesses closed their doors, loan demand cratered, liquidity skyrocketed, and interest rates bottomed out.

But just as they do during their Orientation, our associates pulled together and "went over the wall." That second quarter was tough, but for us it never felt like the bottom was going to fall out completely as it did for many in 2008. Part of that is because the pandemic-related economic downturn was much different than the Great Recession, and part of it was because it was happening to everybody around the world.

growth in fee income to $1.14 billion
growth in wealth management fees
growth in mortgage originations

The other deciding factor was the incredible performance of our associates. They were the differentiator, the reason we were able to ease off the brakes and hit the accelerator more quickly than many of our peers.

We’ve detailed all the steps we took to mitigate the crisis, stabilize our firm and protect our clients elsewhere in this report. Our thorough, proactive plans enabled us to post results for 2020 that few could have imagined back in March.

nonperforming assets
classified asset ratio, lowest in 5 years
growth in tangible book value per share

For full financial data, including GAAP and non-GAAP measures, see our Business Insights.

None of that would have been possible without our associates.

Because we deliberately and aggressively built a team of the highest quality bankers, we faced 2020 confidently.

  • We immediately pivoted to defense, with financial and credit advisors working side by side to regrade every risk-rated loan.
  • We kept clients engaged and guided them through the crisis thanks to strong, established relationships built on trust and longstanding personal connections.
  • We worked around the clock to help 14,000 clients get Paycheck Protection Program loans worth $2.4 billion, essential relief that kept local businesses open and helped stave off disaster for entire communities.
  • We were able to quickly move back to offense because financial and credit advisors worked together to assess our risk and keep close tabs on their loan books.
  • We reopened hiring pipelines and resumed our aggressive recruitment plans.
  • We strengthened our prospects for a post-pandemic economy and grew earnings by altering our incentive plan with a component focused on pre-provision net revenue.

Our experienced associates are why our shareholders have been rewarded for their investments since 2000. They’re also the reason we believe we’re ready for what comes next.

  • Our record number of new revenue-producing associates will continue to migrate their books of business, growing our loan portfolio and increasing our market share even if demand remains light.
  • Their success guiding clients through PPP is building our reputation in our markets and setting us apart from the bureaucratic mega banks that had late and troubled application processes.
  • Their work to assess and stabilize client credits has established expectations and a process for reducing the risk of a hit to asset quality.
  • Our incentive plan built in part on pre-provision net revenue will motivate them to continue growing the parts of our firm that contribute directly to EPS.
  • The success of our team in Atlanta will help us take advantage of the once-in-a-generation opportunity we have to build a new bank in one of America’s biggest economies.

In our first quarter 2020 earnings call, we predicted that the year wouldn’t be about earnings but rather about how well we could position Pinnacle to pick up where we left off and resume our trajectory once the disruption from the pandemic had begun to abate.

Thanks to our associates, we did both.

Response to 2020 Challenges

We live our values every day of every year, but 2020 put all seven to the test. You can see a complete list of how we responded to the varied crises of 2020 on our timeline. Here are a few that show our commitment to shareholder return.

  • Suspends share buyback program and subordinated debt redemption to preserve capital until firm has better clarity on length and severity of pandemic.
  • Begins managing our well-diversified portfolio to understand the impact of COVID on our borrowers that are in industries we believe were directly impacted.
  • Adds our Chief Credit Officer to the earnings call to review asset quality with analysts and shareholders, particularly in hotel, restaurant, retail and entertainment industries.
  • Begins conducting client surveys and collecting current financials from commercial loan clients to better understand their circumstances and how to help them while protecting the firm.

Issues $120 million of preferred stock to add incremental capital and significantly increase our flexibility.


Regrades roughly 1,280 loans for clients with deferred payments by the end of the second quarter to better understand our borrower’s current financial health.


Adds a component to the incentive plan to encourage us to grow pre-provision net revenue.


Regrades roughly 2,500 commercial loans in the C&I and CRE segments.


Regrades nearly 430 commercial loans that had been assigned a temporary risk grade specifically for clients disrupted by COVID.