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(December 3, 2020) – Bloomberg Businessweek today named Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams to the 2020 Bloomberg 50, its annual list of innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who have changed the global business landscape over the past year. The list will be published in the December 7 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. Among those honored this year are Dr. Anthony Fauci, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Colin Kaepernick, Chief Justice John Roberts, and the founders of Black Lives Matter.

The Bloomberg 50 represents the most influential thought leaders in business, entertainment, finance, politics, science and technology whose 2020 accomplishments were particularly noteworthy.

“I am honored and humbled to represent Southern Bancorp and the mission-driven financial institution industry in general on the Bloomberg 50 list,” said Williams. “I hope to use this platform to encourage greater attention on the growing economic needs of underserved Americans and how Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) like Southern Bancorp can help them.”

Williams, who has served as Southern Bancorp’s CEO since 2013, has long been a champion for CDFI’s. During the year, he has been a leading voice for the industry on topics ranging from coronavirus response and economic relief to the growing racial wealth gap. Williams’ advocacy for the unique role of CDFIs in reaching America’s financially underserved communities, including communities of color, has helped raise national awareness of the industry which was created to increase financial access to communities often overlooked by traditional financial institutions.

“As one of only a few African American CEOs who lead FDIC depository institutions in excess of $1 billion in assets, I feel a responsibility to use my position to shed light on the growing wealth gap in America, be it in rural America or more broadly, in communities of color. In doing so, we can identify and implement solutions to help these communities build wealth in ways that increase economic mobility and advance economic opportunities,” said Williams.

In September, Bloomberg Businessweek covered Williams’ efforts to reach financially underserved communities in “One of Finance’s Few Black CEOs Thrives Where Big Banks Fled” available online.

Earlier in the year, the White House invited Williams to participate in a small roundtable discussion of financial institution executives to discuss the coronavirus response. In addition to Williams, attendees included the CEOs of the ten largest financial institutions in America. During the meeting, he advocated for CDFIs as an efficient and effective vehicle for delivering coronavirus economic relief to America’s financially underserved communities, and in the following days and weeks, Williams joined other CDFI and Congressional leaders in advocating for additional PPP support which ultimately led to an additional $10 billion earmarked specifically for CDFIs like Southern Bancorp to disperse in the second round. Video of the White House meeting is available from PBS here

To view the full Bloomberg 50 list here at

To go directly to Darrin Williams’ entry visit

Darrin Williams bio and downloadable headshot available at

About Southern

Founded in 1986 by some of the nation’s leading political, business, and philanthropic leaders with an initial investment of $10 million, Southern Bancorp, Inc., along with its development partners – Southern Bancorp Bank and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, has grown into a $1.6 billion asset organization with 49 locations serving 65,000 customers across two states with a unique array of financial products and services designed to help individuals at all stages of life’s financial journey – from teaching kids how to save to helping entrepreneurs and families realize the American Dream. Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Financial Development Institution, certified B-Corp, and proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Learn more at and