Bank Watch

This has been the fastest category of hiring for U.S. Bank in Charlotte, exec says

U.S. Bank bankers Dee O’ Dell (left) and Jim Kelligrew (right), stand on the bank’s trading floor in uptown Charlotte’s Hearst Tower in this file photo.
U.S. Bank bankers Dee O’ Dell (left) and Jim Kelligrew (right), stand on the bank’s trading floor in uptown Charlotte’s Hearst Tower in this file photo. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

U.S. Bancorp has been expanding its employment in Charlotte since entering the market 12 years ago, but in recent years a handful of areas have mostly driven that growth, a top executive told the Observer Thursday.

The Minneapolis-based company, better known as U.S. Bank, now counts about 620 employees in Charlotte across a range of operations, including wholesale banking, corporate trust and commercial real estate.

“The fastest area of growth the last couple of years has been in our risk, compliance, (anti-money laundering) type areas,” said Jim Kelligrew, co-head of wholesale banking and the company’s highest-ranking executive in Charlotte. “We’re still growing those areas.”

The fifth-largest commercial bank by assets entered the Charlotte market in 2005 by acquiring corporate trust and institutional custody operations from Charlotte-based Wachovia. Kelligrew, a veteran of Wachovia and Bank of America, joined U.S. Bank in 2009 to head its high-grade fixed-income group as the bank established the business that year.

Kelligrew, who sits in uptown’s Hearst Tower, was promoted to his current role last year. He jointly runs the wholesale banking division with Leslie Godridge, who is based in New York. Both will continue to report to Andy Cecere, who is president and chief operating officer, once he becomes CEO next month.

Cecere continues to see Charlotte as key to U.S. Bank’s operations, Kelligrew said.

“One of the things he had said was that he views both Charlotte and New York as the major wholesale banking hubs, along with Minneapolis,” Kelligrew said.

“Charlotte has been a big growth area for U.S. Bank,” Kelligrew said. “I think the short answer (why) is the talent pool.”

Kelligrew said he expects the wholesale division to keep adding employees this year. But if the Trump administration rolls back banking regulations as promised, risk, compliance and anti-money laundering might not grow as much as it has, he said.

“My understanding is they are still hiring, although the hiring is slowing down,” Kelligrew said.

“That’s probably still ... one of the fastest growing employment areas within the bank,” he said. “But the pace has slowed I’d say recently, like over the last three to six months.”

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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