McColl, known for his tough management style and outspoken nature, was also an active supporter of Charlotte’s development. He was the first chairman of the Charlotte Uptown Development Corporation, which coordinated business interests to finance major redevelopment of the central city.
Bank executive. McColl was born in Bennettsville on June 18, 1935, to Hugh L. McColl and Frances Pratt Carroll. McColl earned a B.S. degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina in 1957. He served two years in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. On October 31, 1959, McColl married Jane Bratton Spratt of York. They have three children.
Banking is a family tradition for McColl. His great-grandfather organized Marlboro County’s first bank, and his grandfather was its president. McColl’s father, who became president at age twenty-five, liquidated the bank in 1939 and paid off all depositors. McColl’s brothers also became bankers, and he married a banker’s daughter.
When McColl returned to Bennettsville in 1959, he became a trainee with the American Commercial Bank in Charlotte, which, after a merger with Greensboro’s Security National Bank, became North Carolina National Bank (NCNB). He became an officer with NCNB in 1961 and thirteen years later was promoted to president. In 1981 he was named vice chairman and chief operating officer of NCNB Corporation, the bank’s holding company, and in March 1982 he was elected president. McColl was named chairman of the board and chief executive officer in September 1983. During the 1980s NCNB expanded from a North Carolina institution with 172 offices to a seven-state operation with 826 full-service offices and more than 28,000 employees.
In July 1991 McColl signed an agreement with C&S/Sovran creating NationsBank, which was then the country’s third-largest bank, with $119 billion in assets, two thousand branches, and 59,000 employees. In 1998 NationsBank and BankAmerica of San Francisco merged, resulting in Bank of America with headquarters in Charlotte. At the turn of the century, Bank of America had more than $614 billion in assets and five thousand banking centers in twenty-two states, and it employed 180,000 associates. McColl was chairman and chief executive officer until he retired in 2001.
McColl, known for his tough management style and outspoken nature, was also an active supporter of Charlotte’s development. He was the first chairman of the Charlotte Uptown Development Corporation, which coordinated business interests to finance major redevelopment of the central city. Buildings at Queens College and the University of North Carolina attest to his support of the institutions. He was elected to the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1990. After retirement from Bank of America, McColl organized an investment banking company, McColl Partners LLC, of which he became chairman.
Lunan, Bert, and Robert A. Pierce. Legacy of Leadership. Columbia: South Carolina Business Hall of Fame, 1999.