Former KPMG executive, university president to join Synovus board

Jimmy Yancey and J. Neal Purcell retiring from the regional bank's board of directors

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 21, 2014 

The Synovus building sits along the Chattahoochee River.

PHOTO BY MIKE HASKEY — mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

The retirement of two members of the Synovus Financial Corp. board of directors will make room for two new faces.

The Columbus-based regional bank said Friday that Jimmy Yancey and J. Neal Purcell have reached the firm’s mandatory board retirement age.

Synovus will ask shareholders at its annual meeting April 24 to approve two new directors — Tim Bentsen, former audit partner with KPMG, and Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina.

Yancey has been on the bank’s board since 1978 and with Synovus in some aspect for 54 years. He’s a retired chairman of the board and has worked with Synovus and its division, Columbus Bank and Trust, including stints as vice chairman and president of both.

Purcell’s tenure on the board dates to 2003. He has headed its audit committee and served on the executive and risk committees. He’s a retired vice chairman of assurance with accounting firm KPMG.

Pastides has been president of South Carolina nearly six years, holding several positions at the school before that. He also is on the advisory board of NBSC, the National Bank of South Carolina affiliate of Synovus based in Columbia, S.C.

Bentsen spent 37 years at KPMG, working in several areas of the firm that focuses on audits, taxes and advisory services. He’s also on the faculty of the J.M Tull School of Accounting at the University of Georgia, speaking on corporate governance issues around the U.S.

Synovus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kessel Stelling, in a statement, thanked Yancey and Purcell for their service and welcomed the newcomers’ expertise.

“Tim’s extensive audit and corporate governance experience, and Harris’ background in risk management and leadership, will prove valuable as we make strategic decisions to drive future growth and profitability for our company,” he said.

Synovus oversees $26 billion in assets through its banking offices in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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