David Barksdale, CEO of Charlotte-based Carolina Premier Bank before its acquisition last month, has joined South Carolina’s First Reliance Bancshares to help that company grow its business in North Carolina.
Barksdale started working this week for the Florence-based parent of First Reliance Bank in the newly created role of North Carolina president, he said in an interview Wednesday. He will be based in Winston-Salem, where First Reliance maintains a commercial loan production office – the company’s only presence in North Carolina. That office opened last year.
Barksdale said he will be responsible for expanding the company’s North Carolina footprint, including by opening retail branches. The initial focus will be the Triad, with hopes to extend into other areas, he said.
“Charlotte’s a great market, Raleigh’s a great market, Asheville’s a great market,” he said. “We haven’t said where we’re going when.”
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Select Bancorp, headquartered in the North Carolina city of Dunn about 130 miles east of Charlotte, in July announced plans to buy Carolina Premier in a roughly $40 million deal.
The purchase marked the loss of another bank headquartered in Charlotte. Also last year, the city lost its headquarters status for two other banks, Park Sterling and Capital Bank, which were acquired in separate deals.
Bank of America and NewDominion Bank are now the only banks headquartered in a city known for its financial services sector. In 2007, eight banks were headquartered in Charlotte, including Wachovia, which nearly collapsed in the 2008 financial crisis before being bought by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo.
Barksdale joined Carolina Premier in 2015 from Greensboro’s NewBridge Bancorp, where he was chief strategy officer. He replaced John Kreighbaum, who announced in 2014 that he was stepping down as head of Carolina Premier, which he helped launch in 2007.
Barksdale said he will report to First Reliance CEO Rick Saunders in his new role, which gives him a job much closer to his wife and children, who continued to live in Winston-Salem while he worked for Carolina Premier.
“This was just a good opportunity,” he said.