An audience listens to a news conference Tuesday on Detroit-based Ally Financial’s plan to move into a new headquarters building in downtown Detroit. The lender said its CEO will remain in Charlotte. Brandy Baker AP
An audience listens to a news conference Tuesday on Detroit-based Ally Financial’s plan to move into a new headquarters building in downtown Detroit. The lender said its CEO will remain in Charlotte. Brandy Baker AP

Bank Watch

News and notes on Charlotte's banks and the financial industry

Bank Watch

Ally Financial relocating to new Detroit headquarters; CEO will remain in Charlotte

By Deon Roberts

deroberts@charlotteobserver.com

April 02, 2015 03:33 PM

Ally Financial announced this week that the Detroit-based lender is moving into new headquarters in that city, under a plan that calls for consolidating its employees in Detroit and other locations in southeast Michigan.

Charlotte has no reason to be concerned, according to a company spokeswoman: CEO Jeffrey Brown will continue to be based in Charlotte, where he has an office in the company’s South Church Street tower.

On Tuesday, publicly traded Ally announced it will move out of its current headquarters in downtown Detroit’s Renaissance Center complex and four other other southeast Michigan locations.

The plan calls for a total of 1,500 Ally employees and third-party contractors and vendors to be consolidated in one new unified Michigan headquarters in the One Detroit Center office tower, which will be renamed Ally Detroit Center.

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The move will have no impact on Ally’s employment in Charlotte, the Ally spokeswoman said.

Ally employs roughly 800 people in Charlotte, which is one of the company’s three primary U.S. hubs and home to some of its top executives.

In February, Ally promoted Brown to CEO. Prior to that, he ran the company’s auto finance and insurance business from his office in Charlotte.

According to Ally, here’s a list of its four highest-ranked executives based in Charlotte, in addition to Brown:

▪ Christopher Halmy, chief financial officer

▪ Diane Morais, CEO and president of Ally Bank

▪ Dan Soto, chief compliance officer

▪ Jason Schugel, general auditor

Detroit and New York are the company’s other two U.S. big hubs.

As it relocates in Detroit, Ally is moving its headquarters out of the same complex that serves as headquarters for General Motors Co., in which Ally has roots.

In 2006, GM spun off its financing arm, General Motors Acceptance Corp. The resulting company, GMAC Financial Services, operated under that name until it was changed to Ally Financial in 2010.

GM has been pulling back from Ally, announcing that its financing arm, GM Financial, will replace Ally as the exclusive lessor for Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.