Three Longstanding Hampton Roads Real Estate Firms Merge to Form Prudential Towne Realty

Three Longstanding Hampton Roads Real Estate Firms Merge to Form Prudential Towne Realty

Union of GSH Realty, Prudential Decker Realty and Prudential McCardle Realty Creates one of Hampton Roads’ Largest Real Estate Companies

HAMPTON ROADS, Va., January 19, 2009 - Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial, Inc. [NYSE: PRU] company, and Hampton Roads-based TowneBank [NASDAQ: TOWN] today announced the merger of local real estate leaders Prudential Decker Realty, Prudential McCardle Realty and GSH Real Estate. The merger creates one of the largest real estate companies in Hampton Roads, with about $1 billion in combined closed sales volume in 2008.

The company will operate as Prudential Towne Realty, an affiliate of TowneBank, with 12 offices, four satellite offices, 500 sales professionals and a complete range of real estate services. It will serve all niches of the local market in southeastern Virginia including the Peninsula as well as the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

“We are delighted to announce this merger,” said TowneBank Chairman G. Robert Aston, Jr. “We’re not only adding the universally known Prudential brand to our real estate company but also many of the finest and most-respected professionals in the real estate industry. Prudential Towne Realty proceeds to the head of the class as a major force in Virginia real estate.”

Barbara Wolcott, formerly President and CEO of Prudential Decker Realty, assumes leadership of Prudential Towne Realty as its Chairman and CEO. Kimber Smith and Carol “Randy” Smith, formerly of Prudential McCardle Realty, become President and Senior Vice President of the company’s Peninsula operations. Sandee Ferebee, formerly president of GSH Real Estate, will serve Prudential Towne Realty as chairman emeritus.

“The combined companies have provided a century of loyal service to Virginia real estate consumers,” said Wolcott. “We stand on that rich heritage, yet look to the future with ambitious, long-term growth aspirations. In short, our merger is a wonderful fit for our sales professionals, employees and customers alike. As always, our focus is on superior service with sound judgment and stellar performance.”

Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, said the merger creates a powerhouse affiliate in Virginia. “Prudential Real Estate has been strong in Southeastern Virginia and now we’re huge. The union of these three fine companies will result in a wealth of expertise and service for consumers.”

In addition to residential and commercial sales, Prudential Towne Realty offers property management and relocation, among other services.

“Our clients need us more than ever in this challenging real estate market, and we’re there for them with more tools, resources and expertise than ever before,” said Wolcott.

Prudential Towne Realty base of operations will be at 582 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23452; (757) 490-6500.

As one of Virginia’s top community banks, TowneBank operates 17 banking offices in Chesapeake, Hampton, Portsmouth, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Williamsburg and York County. Towne also offers a full range of financial services through its controlled divisions and subsidiaries that include Towne Investment Group, Towne Insurance Agency, TFA Benefits, TowneBank Mortgage, TowneBank Commercial Mortgage, TowneBank 1031 Exchange, LLC, and Corolla Classic Vacations. Local decision-making is a hallmark of its hometown banking strategy that is delivered through the leadership of each group’s President and Board of Directors. With total assets of $3.02 billion as of September 30, 2008, TowneBank is the largest bank headquartered in Hampton Roads.

Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc. is Prudential’s integrated real estate brokerage franchise and relocation services business. Prudential Real Estate franchises are independently owned and operated. Companies are selected based upon outstanding performance records, high levels of customer service and shared business values with those of Prudential. Prudential Real Estate provides franchises with business strategies using Operation Reviews as well as numerous benefits, including access to Prudential Real Estate’s Online Seller AdvantageSM program designed to provide real-time information to sellers with the touch of a keystroke. Prudential Real Estate is one of the largest real estate brokerage franchise networks in North America, with nearly 2,100 franchise offices and approximately 64,000 sales professionals in the franchise Network as of September 30, 2008.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with approximately $602 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2008, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Leveraging its heritage of life insurance and asset management expertise, Prudential is focused on helping approximately 50 million individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth. The company’s well-known Rock symbol is an icon of strength, stability, expertise and innovation that has stood the test of time. Prudential’s businesses offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services. For more information, please visit

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