Business Brief: EverBank Sale A Positive For Jacksonville

Aug 15, 2016

Jacksonville-based EverBank, the largest bank based in Florida, is being sold to a company called TIAA.

In this week’s Business Brief, WJCT Business Analyst John Burr tells News Director Jessica Palombo the positives of the sale for Jacksonville should outweigh the negatives.

First, the numbers : TIAA has agreed to buy EverBank for $2.5 billion in cash. TIAA, which specializes in handing retirement accounts for universities and non-profits, has $890 billion in assets, while EverBank has $24.7 billion in assets.

So what does TIAA get out of this deal? John asked JU Davis College of Business Dean Don Capener.  He says these are the greatest benefits:

• The ability to cross-sell new services to its members, including mortgages, retail banking and business banking to become a more “consumer-facing organization.”

• EverBank’s well-developed internet banking business

• The ability to grow in a part of the country that’s less expensive to do business in than Washington, D.C., or New York.

But there is concern locally, Capener said,  that with the loss of a corporate headquarters, TIAA will be less beholden to Jacksonville than EverBank, which grew up here and has strong roots in the community.

“And that idea that their philanthrophy, their connection with Jacksonville might become a little looser, if not completely change, is in the minds and hearts and questions of a lot of people that are here,” he said.

Several years ago, EverBank CEO Rob Clements moved much of his employees into downtown Jacksonville, which at the time provided a big boost to downtown at a time it was desperately needed. Would a corporation from New York feel the same obligation to help out the city?

But that said, Capener sees big positives overall in TIAA’s taking over EverBank. Mostly, he thinks in the long run it will result in more jobs here. TIAA will build its banking operation in the same way Deutsche Bank and Citibank have grown huge operations employing thousands of people in the city after establishing a foothold here.

“And I could see, not just necessarily more jobs and better jobs but a bigger, stronger company with a huge presence in Jacksonville,” he says.

And for current EverBank employees and business students hoping to get jobs there he says they now have new career lanes opening up for them as they become part of a much larger and farther-flung corporation.