Banking & Finance

Local bankers surprised by Bear bailout: Observers hope firm's sudden sale signals peak of financial turmoilRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Cory Schouten
The local president of Milwaukee-based M&I Bank, Reagan Rick, got the shocking news while waiting for a plane at Boston Logan International Airport. It came in a text message from Robert Warrington, the former CEO of First Indiana Bank, the Indianapolis bank M&I acquired last year for $529 million. Warrington told him 85-year-old New York-based investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. had been sold to JP Morgan Chase Co.-with backing from the Federal Reserve-for a mere $2 per share. "The degree...
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ICVA calls in headhunter to help fill top post: Experts say job should draw wide interestRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
A nationally renowned headhunter is tracking down candidates to fill the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association's top job in hopes of having a new president in place by June 1. Industry observers expect plenty of applicants given an upcoming hospitality building spree. "This is potentially the chance of a lifetime for someone to come in and make a huge difference," said Amanda Cecil, an assistant professor in IUPUI's Convention and Event Management Department. She called the Indianapolis market a "gold...
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Hoosier Heartland Highway pumps up hope on prairie: Expressway construction starting two years earlyRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Chris O\'malley
LAFAYETTE-For years, they've driven on little more than paved-over wagon trails pioneers carved into the hills nestling the Wabash River. Motorists on State Road 25 between Logansport and Lafayette have grown desperate for a replacement: the final, 33-mile western leg of the "Hoosier Heartland Highway." Today, the Hoosier Heartland expressway ends in Logansport-the western terminus of a newly improved, four-lane U.S. 24 that runs east, to Fort Wayne. But last month Gov. Mitch Daniels surprised highway proponents with word that...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: With benefit of hindsight, some sales look savvyRestricted Content

March 10, 2008
Greg Andrews
S o m e t i m e s , being a good businessperson means knowing when to get out of the business. That truism comes to mind because of the recent carnage in banking. Shareholders in First Indiana Corp., it turns out, cashed in at the right time, as did investors in privately held Union Federal Bank and its parent, Waterfield Mortgage Corp. Last July, just before the subprime mortgage crisis threw credit markets into disarray, the board of...
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Commentary: When is the right time to sell?Restricted Content

March 10, 2008
Mickey Maurer
Like the song says, "You gotta know when to fold 'em." But how do you know when it is the proper time to sell a business? Age and health issues aside, I suggest the "trigger" moment is when there is a looming fundamental adverse change in the industry. One should not sell needlessly. The government imposes a harsh penalty for those transactions. It's called a longterm capital gains tax. I would not fault anyone, however, for a premature exit that...
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Office tower bounces back: Renovated National City Center recovering from loss of SimonRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Scott Olson
Once reeling from the loss of its largest tenant, National City Center now has a rising occupancy rate amid a major renovation that is resuscitating the aging office building. Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. vacated 182,000 square feet in National City Center by moving to its new headquarters a block away in the fall of 2006. The departure left the 16-story tower at the southwest corner of Washington and Illinois streets 28-percent unoccupied after years of being nearly full. Owner...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: How a smart businessman invested his way into prisonRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Greg Andrews
In 1994, Indianapolis real estate entrepreneur Mark Ristow read some investment advice that changed his life. In the book "Beating the Street," Peter Lynch, the former star mutual fund manager, described a "can't lose proposition (almost)" called bank-conversion investing. The game: Buying stock in mutual, depositor-owned banks when they convert into public companies. Depositors get in at the initial-public-offering price, often a discount. So "the next time you pass a mutual savings bank or an S&L that's still cooperatively owned,"...
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Financial crisis offers opening for banks' market-share reshufflingRestricted Content

February 4, 2008
Cory Schouten
Market observers rank today's credit crisis on par with some of the ugliest moments in U.S. banking history. News service Bloomberg predicted fourth-quarter lending losses could make it "the worst earnings period for the financial industry since the Great Depression." Yet amid the carnage, financial institutions are sniffing around for opportunities.
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Busy year, no whoppers: Deals were numerous in 2007, but lack of blockbuster holds overall price tag downRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Scott Olson
The Indianapolis area didn't experience a monster-size business transaction in 2007 like it has in recent years, but that doesn't mean the deal-makers weren't busy. IBJ's annual list of Big Deals tracked more large business transactions involving Indianapolis-area companies than ever before in 2007, even though the total dollar amount of the deals was dramatically lower than the previous year's. Deals compiled by the Indianapolis Business Journal that closed in 2007 totaled $23.4 billion, well below the $38.5 billion posted...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Pending IPOs bode well for tech startups of tomorrowRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Greg Andrews
Initial public offerings often are bonanzas for company management and other insiders. In the case of Aprimo Inc. and ExactTarget Inc. -two Indianapolis software firms on deck to go public-a throng of local business and technology leaders who provided early financial backing would see a rich payoff as well. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show the companies snared as investors a who's who of Indianapolis business, from former venture capitalist Bob Compton to financial adviser David Knall and...
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Few stocks avoid effect of housing, banking woes: Wall Street pessimism spreading across industriesRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
Nineteen central Indiana companies have seen their stock prices fall more than one-quarter from the 52-week highs-a plunge that largely reflects pessimism over the strength of the economy. The pullback has hammered some of the top-performing Hoosier companies in recent years, including shopping mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. (off $46 a share, or 38 percent) and school operator ITT Educational Services Inc. (off $52, or 39 percent). Former highfliers often take the biggest tumble when investor sentiment turns bearish....
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Rash of deals saves Gazelle venture-capital fundRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Back in 1999, investors in Gazelle TechVentures expected a sprint to spectacular profits. Instead, they got a marathon slog. According to Gazelle Chairman and largest investor Scott Jones, it was like training for a race on a sunny day, then running it through a blizzard.
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Financial Planning Titles: A list of acronyms after an adviser's name might look impressive, but those seeking credible advice need to sort through designationsRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Scott Olson
inancial F Planning Titles A list of acronyms after an adviser's name might look impressive, but those seeking credible advice need to sort through designations Investing your money is overwhelming enough already-especially with all the available options-without having to fret over whether a financial adviser has the credentials to keep your retirement account afloat. Sure, there are a litany of fancy titles financial planners can earn that may help ease your concerns. But what do they really mean? With more...
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First Indiana sells bankRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Cory Schouten
Indiana's largest locally based bank, First Indiana Corp., decided to end 92 years of independence in 2007, agreeing in July to sell itself to Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for $529 million in cash, or $32 a share.
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Buyout firm lands $202M infusionRestricted Content

December 24, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Locally based Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. closed on $202 million in new capital this month, doubling its size. Its resources have increased, but HKW's investment philosophy is unchanged. It continues to buy small and midsize specialty manufacturing companies, infuse them with cash and management expertise, then patiently wait for them to grow.
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Knall accepts suspension in unusual SEC case

December 10, 2007
Greg Andrews
Newly public records suggest that securities investigators had far from an airtight insider-trading case against David Knall, the star Indianapolis investment broker who nonetheless agreed to settle the 3-year-old inquiry by agreeing to a one-year suspension. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the pact Dec. 4. In addition to consenting to the suspension, Knall, a managing partner of Stifel Nicolaus & Co., agreed to pay $123,865.
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Credit unions resist conversion temptation: Nationwide, some institutions are opting to become banks to spur growth, but Indiana hasn't joined the packRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Cory Schouten
None of Indiana's 210 credit unions has flipped its charter yet, but analysts expect that will change in the coming years. "Credit unions were formed because there weren't enough convenient banking resources for certain consumers," said Mike Renninger, principal of Carmelbased Renninger & Associates LLC, a banking consulting firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions. "Today, it's a very different mission. There is a tremendous availability of financial services." Credit unions that convert lose tax advantages that come with mutual...
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Clinton's 401(k) proposal receiving mixed reviews: Experts disagree on whether plan can spur savingsRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Scott Olson
Republican presidential candidate Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, leading everyone to believe they would be prosperous under his administration. Fast-forward 80 years and a candidate from the other side of the aisle, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is offering an incentive more fitting for the new millennium: a match on workers' 401(k) contributions. Time will tell whether Clinton becomes president and ultimately fulfills the pledge, but what prompted it is Americans' reluctance...
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Bank's plans unclear after LaSalle buy: Bank of America unlikely to grow local retail biz, but lending office should stay, industry observers sayRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Scott Olson
But here in Indianapolis, where LaSalle's lone location is a downtown commercial lending office, banking observers don't expect Bank of America retail outlets to follow. "I don't think [Indianapolis] will be a primary focus, at least not in the near term," said Tom Kersting, an Edward Jones analyst in St. Louis who follows the bank. "Their main purpose in making the purchase was getting the Chicago presence. That was the last major market they were lacking." Even so, observers say...
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Latest bank merger brings more change at the top:Restricted Content

October 15, 2007
The late Tom Miller, the legendary Indianapolis banker, didn't sugarcoat the truth when he decided to retire in 1994, about a year after selling local powerhouse INB Financial Corp. to Detroit-based NBD Bancorp. "I'm not accustomed to saying, 'May I?'" he said at the time, explaining the awkward transition from running his own bank to answering to an out-of-state owner. That mind-set helps explain why the days of the imperial bank CEO are long over in Indianapolis. Until the succession...
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THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW: Hey dude, the boss is parking in my space!Restricted Content

October 8, 2007
Ron Gifford
I'll admit it: Until recently, I thought "My Space" was simply where I stored "my stuff." My bad, it turns out. Just ask that young staffer down the hall: The new place to see and be seen is MySpace, Facebook or one of the other online social communities. This summer, MySpace announced it had more than 70 million unique users in the United States-meaning nearly one in four Americans used the site, for a total of nearly 50 billion page...
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Heart or head?: Intellect, emotions play role in most biz-location decisionsRestricted Content

September 17, 2007
Sam Stall
Ithe process of f n theory, retail, office or industrial location as should putting be as rational and unemotional reality, emotions together a spreadsheet. But in as hard data. can carry just as much weight "People use very sophisticated uildings processes , but in and evaluations to compare b ," s as much of an art as a science the end, it' . Smith, CEO eteran Samuel F said industry v Commercial of Indianapolis-based Resource aspect of it Real Estate...
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First Indiana Bank's sale timing paid offRestricted Content

August 27, 2007
Greg Andrews
First Indiana Corp.'s announcement that it would be sold to Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for $529 million in cash came just 17 days after sale discussions began. Banking observers have speculated for weeks that First Indiana acted fast to cut a deal before it would have to report second-quarter results.
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How mortgage meltdown sank Oak Street, others:Restricted Content

August 20, 2007
Just three years ago, Steve Alonso was at the top of his game. The veteran mortgage banker was a finalist for Ernst & Young's Indiana entrepreneur of the year award, and his fast-growing company, Oak Street Mortgage, was ready ing for a $150 million initial public offering. Investors should feel fortunate the IPO never happened. Today, Oak Street sits in the evergrowing scrap heap of firms that failed amid the meltdown of the subprime-lending market. "I think we built a...
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Did mortgage losses spur sudden First Indiana sale?:Restricted Content

August 13, 2007
First Indiana Corp. announced poor second-quarter financial results Aug. 7-which raises this interesting question: Did the city's biggest locally owned bank race to sell itself last month because the results otherwise would have caused its stock to tumble? Even before the earnings report, banking observers were abuzz that the $529 million sale to Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. seemed rushed. While many expected First Indiana to sell eventually, CEO Robert Warrington had seemed hellbent on improving results first to drive...
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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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