Tom Heiks, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank’s North Carolina affiliate, took the time to share the vision the bank has for its motorsports involvement.

Fifth Third started life in the Ohio Valley as Fifth National Bank, opening its first doors in Cincinnati in 1858. The bank was purchased by Third National Bank in 1871, hence the name Fifth Third Bank.

Today, Fifth Third has $122 billion in assets and operates 15 affiliates in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Its four main businesses are commercial banking, branch banking, consumer lending and investment advisors. In other words, something for everyone.

Fifth Third came to North Carolina via the purchase of First Charter in 2008, and now has a strong presence in the state. The decision to enter this arena was based on the growth profile and demographics of the region. The magnitude of the motorsports industry was of particular interest to Fifth Third, and its Charlotte office has talented and experienced motorsports bankers on staff to serve this business segment. The parallels to the automobile industry in Ohio and Michigan, in which Fifth Third was and is involved, provides a business-to-business opportunity that incorporates motorsports in North Carolina.

With so many banks in the Charlotte region, Heiks says Fifth Third is distinguished by its approach, a holistic and consultative approach that brings innovative ideas and solutions to its customers. Each affiliate is able to independently make decisions regarding regional involvement. For example, the Fifth Third office in Cincinnati is the official bank of the NFL Bengals, while the office here concentrates on motorsports.

Fifth Third has partnered with Roush Fenway Racing, sponsoring Ricky Stenhouse this year and also working with the CARS Trade Show to be held in Charlotte later this year. Visit here to learn more.

Corinne Economaki