The National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) has announced SunTrust Banks, Inc. as its new primary sponsor, and Grant Thornton and Cisco as supporting sponsors. The multiyear agreements will enable the NCMM to continue providing insights and analyses that drive growth, jobs and competitiveness in the middle market, and ultimately, the overall U.S. economy.

The collective sponsors will join Fisher College of Business—a founding partner of the NCMM—in determining the strategic direction of the NCMM moving forward.

“On behalf of Fisher College of Business, I am delighted to see the National Center for the Middle Market building a strong partnership with SunTrust, Grant Thornton and Cisco, which are recognized leaders in their industries,” said Anil K. Makhija, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher. “These mutually beneficial collaborations underscore the Center’s commitment to providing critical insights and analyses that drive growth, increase competition and create jobs in the middle market, the market that moves America.”

“SunTrust is dedicated to providing industry and product expertise to develop tailored solutions that help middle market companies across the nation achieve smart growth," said Mark A. Chancy, wholesale banking executive for SunTrust. "It’s only natural for us to partner with this leading institution and focus our collective efforts on additional opportunities to grow this vital part of our nation’s economy.”

Throughout the year, the NCMM hosts and participates in a number of events, in addition to funding research reports, which includes its flagship quarterly Middle Market Indicator. Areas of critical focus in the past year include digitization, innovation, mergers and acquisitions, and access to capital, among many other topics that consequently help drive growth in the middle market.

The NCMM was founded out of a multi-year partnership between GE Capital and Fisher. In 2015, GE announced its intentions to divest significant parts of GE Capital’s portfolio, including fully exiting the middle market business.

“With the generous support of GE Capital, the NCMM at Fisher has grown in impact and visibility over the last four years,” Makhija said. “We remain thankful to GE Capital for its partnership and continued financial support during this transition.”

SunTrust is a major national bank headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with total assets of $191 billion. Grant Thornton is a leading U.S. professional-services firm specializing in accounting, tax and advisory services with revenue in excess of $1.4 billion. Cisco is a leader in IT services with revenue of $49.2 billion and nearly 70,000 channel partners.

“We are deeply pleased to be linking arms with SunTrust, Grant Thornton and Cisco,” said Thomas A. Stewart, executive director of the NCMM. “Their expertise in financial, advisory and IT services is a real asset to us and the middle market. It will greatly enhance the NCMM’s work and further our mission.”