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Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice Unveiled as SunTrust's Newest Wealth Management Specialty Group

New Specialty Practice Commissions Survey that Reveals Key Insight on Economic Environment's Impact on Private Foundations

Oct 28, 2009

SunTrust Banks, Inc. today announced the formation of its Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice, the latest addition to the specialty practices set up within SunTrust's Wealth Management business.

Drawing on more than 95 years of experience delivering solutions and guidance to not-for-profit organizations, SunTrust's Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice has more than 50 specialists dedicated to serving the unique needs of these sectors. It gets underway already serving more than 550 foundations, educational institutions and other endowment-supported organizations across the nation.

"We have found that a specialty approach differentiates us in our ability to provide highly attentive service and focused expertise to clients with unique needs," said Jack Nichols, senior vice president and head of the new specialty team. "We bring these clients dedicated, experienced advisors who are trained to meet the specific needs of private, corporate and family foundations, as well as educational institutions and other organizations with endowments."

SunTrust Foundation and Endowments Specialty Practice will offer a full array of financial and advisory solutions, including strategic guidance on key investment, governance and operational issues, open architecture investment management, and sector-specific administrative services, to meet the needs of its clients.

Survey Findings

In conjunction with its formation, the Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice commissioned a survey of private foundations across the nation with less than $100 million in assets, regarding their strategies in response to the economic downturn. The survey was developed with input from the Association of Small Foundations and focused on five key aspects of foundation management: investments, grant requests and awards, community engagement, operations and governance, and mission definition and effectiveness.

"Our team has witnessed first-hand how the ongoing economic environment is moving this sector to seek-out solid solutions and partners to help them meet investment, grant making and efficiency challenges head-on," said Mr. Nichols. "This survey reinforces to us how committed these organizations are to finding ways to continue to meet the needs of the constituents they serve, in spite of the challenges presented by the economy."

  The survey yielded key insights such as:

  --  Over the last year lower investment returns affected 88% of the 
      foundations surveyed, yet the majority (59%) indicated they were
      staying the course with their present asset allocation strategy;

  --  The most frequently experienced impact of the downturn was an increase
      in grant applications, which affected 41% of the foundations surveyed;

  --  In spite of reduced investment funds, 75% of the foundations surveyed
      have not found it necessary to decrease their payout percentages, and
      nearly half have been able to maintain payout percentages above the 5%
      minimum distribution; and

  --  Areas where foundations were making changes to balance the impact of
      decreased investments and increased grant requests included taking
      steps to reduce operational costs (28%) and focusing their funds on
      the needs of historical grant recipients (29%).

A copy of the full findings from the survey, along with more information on SunTrust's Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice can be found at .

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of September 30, 2009, SunTrust had total assets of $172.7 billion and total deposits of $119.3 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The Company also serves clients in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries, the Company provides mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, investment management, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is

First Call Analyst: Putnam, Eugene
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SOURCE: SunTrust Banks, Inc.

CONTACT: Hugh Suhr, SunTrust Banks, Inc., +1-404-827-6813