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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Christian Corts

Truist's North Texas Regional President talks leading as the youngest person in the room, the nonprofit his family started, and gives his book recommendation.
By | |Illustration by Andrea Chavez
Christian Corts
Illustration by Andrea Chavez

In 2019, BB&T Bank and SunTrust merged to form Truist, now the sixth-largest bank in the United States.Christian Corts serves as North Texas leader of the financial institution, which officially began operating under the Truist brand last month. “Our strategy is compelling and different,” Cort says, “and I am excited about the impact we can have on the market.”

Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky

Education: Wake Forest University (MBA); Samford University (BA-Finance)

First Job: “When I was 14, I cleaned the offices of a local financial institution in Greenville, South Carolina, each weekend. It reinforced the work ethic that my parents worked to instill in me.”

Best Advice: “I’ve been very fortunate to have many mentors throughout my career. Each one of them taught me something unique to bring back to my team and brought a new perspective to my leadership style. The most significant piece of advice can be used on a daily basis: ‘people before process.’ If you invest in your people, regardless of the circumstance, they will generally perform at the level needed to exceed expectations.”

Dinner Party: “There are so many great and diverse business leaders in the DFW area that picking two is almost impossible. That being said, I would love to meet and learn more from First Lady Laura Bush. A true Texan, her time in Austin, the White House, and as a teacher, provide a depth and knowledge leaders dream about. I am fascinated by her travels, her legacy, and her activism for education and women. Emmitt Smith is another leader I would love to have dinner with. His longstanding commitment to excellence and high-performance at the highest levels of professional sports paints a picture of the type of leader he is. His real estate and advising company has become one of the most prolific real estate firms in the country, and our values are very similarly aligned.”

Destinations of Choice: “London; La Croix-Valmer, France; Charleston, South Carolina; Lake James, North Carolina”

Nonprofit Cause: “Our family started a nonprofit called the Four Ten Foundation. It’s designed to mobilize student volunteers to become lifelong community members. The foundation pairs summer interns with nonprofits; they’re matched on their skill set and the specific need of the nonprofit. The Four Ten Fellows Program gives students the opportunity to see and serve the needs in their community and develop a heart for servant leadership.”

Hobby/Passion: “I love to cook. One of my favorite things to do is to go to the Dallas Farmer’s Market and come home and cook a big meal for family and friends.”

Fun Fact: “I was born in Louisville, but I don’t consider it my hometown. My family has moved so much, we have affectionately named the Tower Bridge in London as our family spot. Before any trip begins, our family knows that we’ll first meet at the London Bridge and we’ll spend good family time together.”

Dream Car: “A 1994 Land Rover Defender is the perfect car to have a fun weekend with my little boys.”

Toughest Challenge: “I have had the opportunity to lead teams where I was the youngest person in the room. I had to learn how to build trust quickly even though I had less experience; it started with demonstrating the right intentions and that we could be effective together.”

Second Home: “Our family has a lake house in Lake James, North Carolina. My mother-in-law is a twin, and both families operate as one big unit. The lake house acts as a headquarters for both families to spend time together.”

Proud Moment: “Further integrating the two heritage banks into Truist and working as a team to live out the purpose of the new organization in our city. Our team has done great work to inspire and build better communities in the North Texas area.”

A Better DFW: “I just became involved with the American Heart Association and learned about spots in South Dallas that are considered food deserts where people, especially children, do not have proper access to fresh and healthy food. I look forward to working with them to help solve this issue.”

Walk-up Song: “‘Standing Outside the Fire’ by Garth Brooks”

Must-Read: “From a business perspective, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. It is a quick read, and encapsulates specific issues that teams face on their path to becoming effective. It has opened my eyes as a leader and has been beneficial in leading new teams.”

Biggest Risk: “I moved to Houston in my mid-20s to help the bank establish a presence in a new market. It was my first client-facing role, in a market where we had no brand recognition and I had no connectivity.”

Bucket List: “My grandmother is 79 and has always wanted to go on a cruise. I would love to take her on an Alaskan cruise as things open back up.”

Author

Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the assistant editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500

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