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Jeffrey T. Dunn

New position: Executive vice president, private client services, SunTrust Bank, Tampa

Previous position: Senior vice president, wealth management sales manager, SunTrust Bank, Tampa

Growing up with four brothers prepared Jeffrey Dunn well for a career in the banking industry. "It taught me how to be competitive," he said.

In September, Dunn became executive vice president of private client services for SunTrust Bank, an area of banking that he says has become increasingly competitive. For the past two years, as senior vice president of wealth management, he reported to the executive vice president.

In his new position, Dunn coordinates the bank's focus on securities, trust administration and "our private client advisers" for high net-worth clients, those with more than $250,000 in investable assets.

"You're competing not only with other banks but with brokerage houses," he said. "There's been even more competition as the market has changed in the last three years. It is in those times when you gain market share . . . by being proactive with clients (so) they know what's going on."

The best method of gaining more market share, Dunn said, "is (to) exceed customer expectations. We've been doing a lot more financial planning and added insurance as a product.

"We like to say that we are selling comprehensive wealth management, which gives us more products to sell," he said.

SunTrust Bank has more than 97 offices in the six counties in its Tampa Bay area _ Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus, Sumter and Hernando. Private client assets under management by SunTrust in the bay area total more than $3.2-billion, Dunn said.

Among his added responsibilities, the staff Dunn oversees has nearly quadrupled, from approximately 30 employees to more than 110.

"The workload has increased significantly," he said, "but once we get some more people hired, it will diminish and I will be able to focus on marketing and growing our sales."

Dunn said he will be dealing with clients more in his new role. "That's what makes the job fun. You have to put stuff aside to be in front of the client."

Dunn said he knew he wanted to go into banking while in college at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, where he grew up. He earned a bachelor's degree in business management in 1987, and earned an MBA in finance from Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y., in 1991.

He took his first banking position in 1991 with M&T Bank in Buffalo, N.Y., as a commercial management trainee and worked up to a vice president position in his six years there. He left M&T in 1997 to join SunTrust as commercial banker in Pinellas County.

"I was always interested in banking," Dunn said. "The most attractive part about banking is there were a lot of different areas you could choose, retail or commercial. If you thought your skills were in management or finance, banking offered those opportunities."

He said his relocation to Florida from Buffalo wasn't weather-motivated. "In Buffalo, the job market got tough. I left to get into a better market. Tampa is a growing, booming market," he said.

"Every day is a different challenge," he said. "Although my calendar is full, the problems are different, and solving those problems and working with our employees to find business and keeping business is enjoyable.

"I could never have imagined how competitive it would be," he added. "I love competition."

Dunn, 38, was appointed earlier this year to the board of trustees of the University of Tampa and is a graduate of Leadership Tampa 2003. He and his wife, Susan, have two toddlers. They live in Tampa.

_ FRED W. WRIGHT JR., Times correspondent