Banking & Finance

BEHIND THE NEWS: Banker ready to make Salin a force in state's largest cityRestricted Content

August 25, 2008
Greg Andrews
Alvin "Kit" Stolen is back atop an Indianapolisbased bank, albeit one many locals have never heard of. But Salin Bank & Trust Co. has big plans to get noticed-and get customers-here. After establishing strong market positions in south-central and northern Indiana, it finally has its sights on the center of the state. For now, Salin has just one Indianapolis-area branch, its headquarters near Keystone at the Crossing. But plans are in motion for two Hamilton County locations. And while bank...
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Developer pegs Plainfield for spec office building: Local real estate brokers question potential demandRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Scott Olson
Now a developer is banking on a new roadway and airport terminal to attract office tenants, although some brokers familiar with the area aren't sold on the idea. The local office of Chicago-based Verus Partners LLC finished purchasing 200 acres along the east side of the Reagan Parkway and plans to build a 60,000-square-foot, two-story speculative office building. Verus' mixed-use office and industrial park is called GreenParke at Airwest and could be ready for occupancy by next summer. Infrastructure work...
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Murky motive adds intrigue to Old National loan saga

August 18, 2008
Greg Andrews
In the buttoned-down world of banking, it doesn't get much stranger than this: An Indianapolis loan officer with a strong reputation is suddenly dismissed after his employer charges he falsified lending documents. The bank says the fraud exposes it to potential losses approaching $20 million. And here's the kicker: The employer hasn't accused the banker of committing the wrongdoing for personal gain.
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Murky motive adds intrigue to Old National loan sagaRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Greg Andrews
In the buttoneddown world of banking, it doesn't get much stranger than this: An Indianapolis loan officer with a strong reputation is suddenly dismissed after his employer charges he falsified lending documents. The bank says the fraud exposes it to potential losses approaching $20 million. And here's the kicker: The employer hasn't accused the banker of committing the wrongdoing for personal gain. There are no allegations, for instance, of setting up fictitious borrowers to scoop up bank cash on his...
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Developer pegs Plainfield for spec office building: Local real estate brokers question potential demandRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Scott Olson
Now a developer is banking on a new roadway and airport terminal to attract office tenants, although some brokers familiar with the area aren't sold on the idea. The local office of Chicago-based Verus Partners LLC finished purchasing 200 acres along the east side of the Reagan Parkway and plans to build a 60,000-square-foot, two-story speculative office building. Verus' mixed-use office and industrial park is called GreenParke at Airwest and could be ready for occupancy by next summer. Infrastructure work...
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Stadium scores Colts 30-percent sponsorship increase: Entertainment in 14 themed areas starts four hours before kick-off; strategy gains notice from other NFL teamsRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Colts will score almost $18 million annually through their new stadium's title sponsorship and deals with 14 founding sponsors, each of which has its own themed area of the stadium's interior. Including sponsor agreements for two massive video boards at each end of the stadium, a narrower video board circling the upper reaches of the lower bowl, and other in-stadium deals, the Colts should bring in $20 million, 30 percent more than in the RCA Dome, according to...
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SURF THIS: Finding a stray $500-a hint of what Mint can do

August 4, 2008
Jim Cota
I received an email the other day offering some suggestions to save about $500 a year through a variety of basically painless financial moves. Most consisted of suggestions like "move this account, which is making next to nothing, to this bank where they'll pay you 4 percent." The email also recommended that I build an emergency fund, provided a list of all my account balances (everything from banking to credit cards to investments), pointed out the top purchases of the...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: News from the front lines: More tough times aheadRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Greg Andrews
The past 12 months have been hard to take, with all the gloom-anddoom headlines about the weak housing market, subprime credit crisis and softening economy. We're all ready for some good news. Unfortunately, I can't provide it here. That's because executives on the front lines of Indiana business-those most tuned in to the twists and turns of the state's economy-aren't ready to call a turnaround yet. In second-quarter conference calls with analysts, the executives are trumpeting their firms' ability to...
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SPORTS: NASCAR: Good for the city, not so fun to watchRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Bill Benner
Depending upon when IBJ lands in your hands, the 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will be either coming to or going from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So let's talk racin'. Let me begin by saying how pleased I am that Tony George took that giant leap in 1994 and welcomed NASCAR to the hallowed openwheel grounds of IMS. By most accounts, the Brickyard 400 instantly became the second-most-coveted prize on the NASCAR circuit and it has remained in that...
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Going mobile: Local executive carves niche as national expert on fast-growing banking-industry technology trendRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Scott Olson
Move over home computer, the more nimble mobile phone and competing handheld devices have taken the helm as the hippest ways to conduct banking business online. What's more, an Indianapolis banking executive is at the forefront of the mobile-banking information movement and is promoting the benefits on a blog he created that is attracting scores of new viewers each month from around the world. Brandon McGee, 34, may keep bankers' hours at the downtown office of the Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington...
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Bank-run scenes create concerns: IndyMac situation unlikely in Indiana, but customers should check out stability of their banks, experts warnRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Cory Schouten
It was a scary scene, reminiscent of the Great Depression: Customers lined up outside California's IndyMac Bank branches to withdraw deposits after a bank run led to the bank's failure. The images have driven some central Indiana customers-businesses and individuals-to take a more critical look at the strength of their banks and the safety of their deposits. Even as financial stocks rallied in mid-July, the risk remains for more bank failures. Dismal earnings reports and massive write-downs continued in recent...
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INVESTING: Why Anheuser-Busch bid resonates in IndianapolisRestricted Content

June 30, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
One of our sister Midwestern cities is locked in a fight for its corporate identity. A n h e u s e r- B u s c h , maker and distributor of Budweiser brand beers-and the corporate icon of St. Louis-is engaged in a $46.3 billion takeover battle for its survival as a U.S.-based company. The would-be acquirer is Belgium-based InBev, the second-largest brewer by volume in the world. London-based SABMiller, who in 2002 bought Miller Brewing in Milwaukee,...
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Commentary: Wishing Nat City a speedy recoveryRestricted Content

June 30, 2008
Mickey Maurer
On June 19, The New York Times business section led with an article titled, "Regional Banks are Rocked." The accompanying graphic indicated that National City Bank lost 86 percent of its market value since the beginning of this year. No wonder. The news has not been good. On June 10, Peter Raskind, chairman and CEO of National City, acknowledged publicly that on Feb. 5, the bank had been placed under a memorandum of understanding by the comptroller of the currency....
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Networks help practices extend their reach:Restricted Content

June 30, 2008
Scott Olson
Outside of Indiana, the local law firm of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP has a nominal presence in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C. Yet, the midsize practice with roughly 130 lawyers in Indianapolis is handling an immigration issue for a fellow firm in India and is encouraged about prospects in Argentina, Colombia and Puerto Rico. Global gigs typically are reserved for larger rivals with an international scope. But scores of firms that want to expand their reach, without the risk...
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Conseco wins $29M judgment in latest round of legal warRestricted Content

June 23, 2008
J.K. Wall
Conseco Inc. has won another round in court against former Merchants National Bank CEO James D. Massey this month, ringing up a $29 million judgment against him in a court in Illinois. But Massey shows no sign of throwing in the towel in the years-long litigation over millions he borrowed to buy Conseco stock. Massey was a director of Conseco from 1994 to 2000.
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Director pay rising with demands on corporate boards: Some members manage to serve multiple Indiana public companies; median compensation exceeds $59,000Restricted Content

June 23, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Joe Ruffolo learned a great deal over 35 years as an executive at PepsiCo., Squibb Corp., Reynolds Aluminum and North American Van Lines. Now running his own investment banking company, Fort Wayne-based Ruffolo Benson LLC, Ruffolo also holds seats on a halfdozen company boards. Executive compensation experts say that's too much on one plate. Ruffolo is one of a handful of Hoosiers who serve as independent board directors of more than one Indiana-based public company. Experts say it's an increasingly...
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More manufacturing? Maybe Butler did it: University's accelerator helps plants boost businessRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
Ten years ago, Bob McAfee bought SaniServ, an 80-year-old Mooresville institution that pioneered the making of softserve ice cream machines for restaurants. Despite the manufacturer's longevity, a handful of competitors-one of them much larger and two roughly the same size-had cut into market share, causing SaniServ's annual revenue to stall at about $10 million. Determined to improve upon the figure, but unsure how to go about it, McAfee turned to the Butler Business Accelerator. The 2-year-old consultancy on the Butler...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Steak n Shake roadblock sends dissident on detourRestricted Content

June 9, 2008
Greg Andrews
Since he began scooping up shares of The Steak n Shake Co. last year, dissident investor Sardar Biglari has been forthright about his intentions. Perhaps to a fault. The Texan's investor group in January laid out its strategy in a 10-page letter. First, it would push to elect two of its representatives to the nine-member board at the annual meeting. Then, it would ask shareholders to call a special meeting, where he hoped they would replace the majority of the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: One man's trash is a gold mine for privacy violationsRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Joan Antokol
National pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens are not the only ones to experience "dumpster-diving" by investigative reporters. These drugstores were merely the first to be featured in media reports about customers' personal information being disposed of without being destroyed first, a violation of state and federal privacy laws. Diving in Local reporters have since rummaged through the trash of mortgage brokers, title insurance companies, fitness centers, banks, law firms, hospitals and government organizations. While searching through the trash,...
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Symphony Bank results keep hitting sour notes: CEO hopes to succeed by taking bank 'to the people'Restricted Content

May 19, 2008
Cory Schouten
Symphony Bank's palatial branch along East 96th Street-outfitted with a copper roof, towering domed ceiling and heated parking lot-was designed to telegraph wealth and stability. But instead, the $5 million Taj Mahal became the most prominent symbol of the bank's excesses and one reason the startup has lost money every year since its founding in June 2005. The bank, which has no other branches, has torn through two management teams and piled up annual losses of $2 million or more...
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Land banking: Banks grab top sites for branches, often years before they buildRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Cory Schouten
Many of central Indiana's banks are filling their own safe-deposit boxes, but they're not stuffing them with jewelry, legal documents or blackmail material. They're banking parcels of land. The sites often are in fast-growing suburbs or redevelopment areas that hold potential for new brickand-mortar bank branches, sometimes several years down the road. Competition can be fierce for the prime sites, and other financial institutions aren't the only nemesis for banks: Walgreens and CVS also are fighting over the best ground,...
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Clean Wave hopes to invest $100M in alternative energy, sustainable technologiesRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Chris O'Malley
A former Silicon Valley sales executive and a Cincinnati investment manager have formed a venture fund here that's trying to raise $100 million to invest in the new darlings of the investment world: clean technology firms. Clean Wave Ventures founders Scott Prince and Rick Kieser are banking on soaring energy costs attracting investors to the risky but potentially lucrative realm of alternative energy and transportation and related fields.
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Angels invest where others fear to tread: Wealthy entrepreneurs join forces to create HALO Capital GroupRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Some high-tech companies are so risky that even venture capitalists quiver. That's when they turn to angels, who aren't afraid to fly to the rescue of cash-strapped innovators with chancy yet possibly lucrative ideas. Last year, two dozen of central Indiana's most successful business veterans decided to intercede on behalf of Hoosier entrepreneurs. They formed HALO Capital Group, a network of angel investors who seek to speculate on promising Indiana startups. Every other month, the HALO group meets at a...
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Turnaround specialists in demand: Economy creating opportunities for Periculum Capital, other firmsRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Even storm clouds have silver linings, if you know where to look. Likewise, even a slowing economy has market opportunities, for those who can adjust. Economists haven't agreed yet about whether the U.S. economy has slipped into recession. But Indianapolisbased investment banking firm Periculum Capital Co. LLC isn't waiting for the official call. Known since 1998 for its expertise in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions, Periculum is beefing up its expertise in business restructuring. "Most people who build businesses...
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Equicor playing it 'cautious': Small projects fueling firm's steady growthRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Scott Olson
As one of a few local developers that pursues both commercial and residential projects, Equicor Cos. quietly has built a portfolio of properties totaling more than $150 million. Among those under development is its most ambitious to date, Promenade of Noblesville, at State Road 32 and Little Chicago Road. The 153-acre mixeduse development features retail and office lots, as well as 280 homes. Yet, the 16-year-old north-side company has been absorbing its share of "bumps and bruises" as of late,...
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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