Robert James joins Top 100 Firm Grant Thornton LLP as a banking industry senior advisor. James will work out of the firm’s Charlotte office.

Prior to Grant Thornton, James was the president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank in North Carolina. James joined the bank in 2008 and helped it enter the North Carolina market. He was able to do so when he originated and finalized the merger of First Charter Corporation, where he had been president and CEO, with Fifth Third Bank, in a deal worth $1.05 billion in cash and stock.

James has more than 38 years of experience in the banking industry. He started his banking career at the former Centura Banks, Inc., headquartered in Rocky Mount, N.C., which is now part of PNC Bank Corp. He moved up the ranks from retail branch manager, commercial lender, city and regional executive, to executive vice-president and member of Centura’s operating committee.

“Bob’s extensive experience in banking strategy, operations, governance and mergers and acquisitions will allow us to bring more in-depth services to our banking clients,” said Nichole Jordan, Grant Thornton’s national Banking and Securities industry leader, in a statement. “Having served on corporate, industry, and non-profit boards of directors, Bob understands and appreciates the distinction between oversight and management.”

James served as chairman of the board for the North Carolina Bankers Association in Raleigh and on its executive and nominating committees. He also served as provost of the NCBA School of Banking.

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