Synovus CEO Stelling named treasurer of Financial Services Roundtable

Synovus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kessel Stelling has been chosen treasurer of the Financial Services Roundtable, a lobby and advocacy organization for the financial industry.

The move, announced Wednesday, also gives Stelling a seat on the Washington, D.C.-based organization’s executive committee. He succeeds Tom Watjen, president and CEO of Unum Group.

“We are pleased that Kessel’s strong leadership skills and deep knowledge of the financial services industry will continue to serve as a guiding voice in this role on FSR’s board,” FSR President and CEO Tim Pawlenty said in a statement.

Stelling was named president and CEO of Columbus-based Synovus Financial Corp. in October 2010. He became chairman of the board in January 2012. He began his career with Synovus in March 2006 when the company purchased Riverside Bancshares Inc., and merged it with Bank of North Georgia.

He currently serves as a board member for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and is vice chairman of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia. He has been named to the list of “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend Magazine every year since 2009.

In a separate announcement Wednesday by Synovus, the bank said Allan Kamensky, its executive vice president and general counsel, has landed a seat on the Southeastern board of directors of Operation HOPE.

The non-profit organization focuses on providing financial literacy and investment opportunities to advance the economic development and quality of life in low and moderate income communities. Synovus, using its bank branches, will also participate in the HOPE Inside program, which provides free credit counseling services.

“We are thrilled to see Synovus — a leading financial institution — as a new important partner on the ground, investing in a new HOPE Inside location in Columbus, Ga.,” John Hope Bryant, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, said in a statement.

Since its launch in 1992, Operation HOPE has “empowered” more than 2.2 million individuals and directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to America’s low-wealth communities, the organization said. It has recruited 20,000 HOPE Corps volunteers and helped raise average credit scores for financial case management clients more than 120 points over an average 18-month period, it said.

Operation HOPE serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

Synovus, parent company of Columbus Bank and Trust, oversees about $27 billion in assets through its 28 locally-branded divisions in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.