Ex-Fifth Third Bank Chief Joins Grant Thornton As Senior Adviser
Robert James Jr., after 38 years in the banking industry, has joined Grant Thornton LLP’s national financial services practice as a Banking industry senior advisor based in the firm’s Charlotte, N.C., office.
James is the former president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, North Carolina, where he led the bank’s entry into the North Carolina market.
“The addition of Bob to our national banking practice demonstrates Grant Thornton’s continued commitment and investment in helping our dynamic banking clients unlock their potential for growth,” said Mike McGuire, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner for Markets, Industries, People & Culture. “Bob is a recognized leader and management advisor – not only in the banking arena, but throughout the business community.”
“Bob’s extensive experience in banking strategy, operations, governance and mergers and acquisitions will allow us to bring more in-depth services to our banking clients,” said Nichole Jordan, Grant Thornton’s national Banking and Securities industry leader. “Having served on corporate, industry, and non-profit boards of directors, Bob understands and appreciates the distinction between oversight and management.”
Since 2008, James served as the president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, North Carolina. He initiated and successfully finalized the merger of First Charter Corporation, where he had been president and CEO, with Fifth Third Bank, a $120B Midwestern regional bank holding company.
Previously, as president and CEO of First Charter Corporation and its subsidiaries First Charter Bank and First Charter Insurance Services, James led the expansion of the bank’s footprint with three acquisitions including a $1B savings & loan company in Charlotte, NC, a $400M community bank in Atlanta, and a de novo entry into Raleigh, NC.
James began his banking career at the former Centura Banks, Inc, headquartered in Rocky Mount, NC, which is now part of PNC. He progressed from retail branch manager, commercial lender, city and regional executive, to executive vice-president and member of Centura’s operating committee.
James has been actively involved in financial services organizations throughout his career, serving as chairman of the board of the North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) in Raleigh and on its executive and nominating committees. He also served as provost of the NCBA School of Banking.
James graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and the Louisiana State University’s Graduate Banking Program.