East Tennessee Chairman
Jim Clayton, East Tennessee Chairman of FirstBank, is proud to call Knoxville, Tennessee home. In 1956, Jim along with his brother Joe, founded Clayton Automobiles. Clayton Homes “CMH” came soon after where Jim served as Chairman, President, and CEO for over 4 decades. Jim built the CMH team, lauded by the NYSE, Forbes, Barons, and the Wall Street Journal for 30 consecutive years of 25% annualized earnings growth.
Warren Buffet purchased Clayton Homes in 2003 and Jim’s son, Kevin Clayton continues to serve as CEO at the helm. Jim led investors to establish BankFirst in 1993, a family of banks in East Tennessee. Serving as Chairman and majority shareholder, Jim orchestrated the public offering of BankFirst in 1998, an $800 million IPO. BankFirst was acquired by BB&T in 2000. At BB&T, based in Winston Salem, NC, Jim served on the Regional Board of Directors, and chaired the Executive Committee until December 2004.
In 2002 Jim purchased First State Bank, followed by the purchase of American City Bank in 2004, and the launch of Clayton Bank and Trust in 2005. Clayton Bank and Trust and American City Bank were both purchased by FirstBank in 2017, where Jim now serves as East Tennessee Chairman.
From humble beginnings to the list of Forbes 400 Wealthiest Americans, Jim was honorably named a 1991 award recipient by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Living his dream, philanthropist Jim established the Clayton Foundations, which have awarded over $40 million to hundreds of charitable organizations, and will carry on, giving back for generations to come.< Back to Executive Team