Hung to Lead First Tennessee’s Franchise Group


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Restaurant lender Tom Hung has joined First Tennessee Franchise Finance as Managing Director, Group Head of Franchise Finance. He joins the bank from Citizens Bank, where he was managing director. 

“He is experienced and credible in the space,” said Todd Jones, executive vice president of wholesale banking, who brought Hung to First Tennessee. “And he brings expertise and success with private equity and sponsors. We want him to continue to build on our efforts there and take them to next level.”

Hung is replacing Jones, whose promotion was reported on in a recent issue of the Monitor. Hung reports to Steve Hawkins, executive vice president of wholesale banking. 

Jones first connected with Hung during their tenure at GE Capital Franchise Finance. “It’s his style: He’s driven, he’s focused, and he gets things done,” he said.

Hung reported he’s been in the restaurant world since he was aged 15, when he worked at McDonalds. He started his banking career in tech and media, but quickly found his way to restaurant finance, “and probably will be for the rest of my career. I’m dedicated to it.”

Hung himself finds it “an incredible opportunity to be leading the team of talented and experienced individuals,” he said. “My role is to lead the platform, but its about supporting the team and giving them the tools to continue to win in the marketplace.” And, after talking with the bank’s management, he feels they are committed to the sector.

He’s known the team at First Tennessee since his days at GE, “and I am excited to build on what the team has already done.”

Jones says he’ll still be actively supporting the franchise finance group, even though he won’t be directly leading it. For him it is a little bittersweet: On one hand he’s leaving the team that was handpicked. “We were all corporate refuges from GE. It was an unplanned displacement. We had that common ground, and then we all came together at a bank that welcomed us and wanted to grow this business line,” he said. “It is unique, the way this team came together, and started something from scratch. It has been a successful two and half years.”

On the other hand, he’s excited to watch it grow even further. “I look forward to seeing that continue under Tom’s leadership,” said Jones. 

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