Originally created 05/26/06

Augustan returns as market's leader



An Augusta native will serve as Wachovia Bank's next Augusta-Aiken market president.

Richard Fairey will return to Augusta from Dalton, Ga., where he has served as market president since 2003, the company announced Thursday.

"It's been a goal of mine to come back to my hometown," said Mr. Fairey, who started his banking career 20 years ago as a teller on Washington Road.

Mr. Fairey, now 37, will take over the role in mid-June. Since 1997, he has worked at Wachovia, previously serving Augusta as a sales manager and small-business team leader.

He said one of his goals is to widen Wachovia's footprint in the Augusta market.

"That means being out in community, helping the community make decisions," he said.

Wachovia holds nearly one-third of the Augusta-Aiken market's $5.8 billion in deposits, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It became the area's largest bank in 2001, after the First Union-Wachovia merger. Last year it completed the acquisition of SouthTrust Bank.

Wachovia's former market president, Jeffrey P. Spears, announced earlier this month that he was stepping down to form a new community bank in the area.

Another Augusta native, Paul Menk, was named Wachovia's regional president for greater Georgia on Thursday. He now serves markets in Americus, Athens, Augusta, Cartersville, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Monroe, Rome and Savannah. Mr. Menk, who starts June 19, served as Augusta's market president from 2000 to 2004.