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Regions CEO Hall Adds Chairman Title as Deavenport Retires

Regions Financial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Grayson Hall will add chairman to his title after Earnest W. Deavenport retires in May.

Deavenport, 74, has been a director since 1999 and became non-executive chairman in 2010, the Birmingham, Alabama-based lender said today in a statement. At the 2011 and 2012 shareholder meetings, he received exemptions to serve beyond the bank’s retirement age of 72, according to the statement and Evelyn Mitchell, a Regions spokeswoman.

Deavenport helped Regions recover after reporting six consecutive quarters of losses starting in 2009. The bank’s former CEO, Dowd Ritter, almost doubled its real-estate construction-loan portfolio, and mortgage loans climbed 59 percent from the end of 2005 through 2007. Soured loans surged as home prices began to drop, with Regions writing off $3.8 billion in 2008 and 2009. Hall became CEO in March 2010.

Deavenport “helped guide us through a tremendously difficult environment, and his vision has been integral to revitalizing our company” Hall, 55, said today in the statement.

Regions fell 1.6 percent to close at $7.59 today in New York. The shares have gained 27 percent in the past 12 months, compared with an 18 percent increase in the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

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