Banking & Finance

Mira banquet honors excellence in Hoosier high tech: TechPoint awards often precede market successRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
TechPoint's Mira Awards, which were to be handed out May 19, celebrate excellence in Hoosier innovation. The annual awards banquet also serves as a pretty good bellwether of who's poised for a big payday. For example, TechPoint honored Indianapolis-based medical device-maker Suros Surgical Systems Inc. with a Mira award three years before Massachusettsbased Hologic Inc. acquired Suros for $240 million in April. In 2003, TechPoint also recognized Carmel-based banking software-maker Baker-Hill. California-based Experian bought Baker-Hill last August for an undisclosed...
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Suit puts One Call on hold: Firm placed in receivership as lender seeks $21 millionRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Chris O\'malley
One Call Communications has been placed in receivership, a day after a lender for its 2002 management buyout filed a lawsuit alleging the Carmel long-distance and operator-services company owes it more than $21 million. The May 11 lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis by Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank appears to be the knockout blow for a telecommunications firm accused by several states of violating consumer protection laws in billing and collection practices. Also looming is a proposed $1.1 million fine...
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PROFILE: Complexions Day Spa: Downtown day spa has glowing business Irvington native focuses on organic products, attracts clients from entertainment, sports scenesRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Jo Ellen
Complexions Day Spa Downtown day spa has glowing business Irvington native focuses on organic products, attracts clients from entertainment, sports scenes Trinia Cox's venture builds on a 10-year career in skin care and makeup artistry with stints in Chicago and Los Angeles. And the location of Complexions Day Spa on Massachusetts Avenue was a good fit with her background in the arts, including gigs as a singer with Dr. Bop and the Headliners and her own group, Trinia and the...
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As CD rates reach 5-year-high, banks get more interest: Many savings institutions advertise investment option aggressively, offer specials to attract new customersRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Scott Olson
Money managers are dusting off their low-risk investment options for consumers who are finding certificates of deposit attractive again. The run-up on CDs corresponds with rising interest rates that are meant to cool inflation by making the cost of borrowing more expensive. The federal funds rate-the interest banks charge one another on overnight loans-is the highest it's been since early 2001. While that's not so good for home buyers, it does benefit investors searching for short-term savings returns. Interest rates...
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Money manager launches own firm: Former SBK-Brooks exec opens Liger SecuritiesRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Scott Olson
If David B. Girton isn't already regarded as an innovator in the local investment brokerage community, he should be now. The 45-year-old Indianapolis native is in the process of launching Liger Securities Corp., the only locally owned black investment firm in the city. But 10 years ago, he accomplished a similar first, when he opened the local office of Cleveland-based SBK-Brooks Investment Corp., then the only black-operated brokerage here. Make no mistake, though, Girton's credentials far outweigh his designation as...
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BULLS & BEARS: Marsh, Suros deals a study in how to value businessesRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Ken Skarbeck
Two recent Indianapolis business deals have provided local investors with excellent case studies in business valuation. What is truly instructive is that these acquisitions are polar opposites based on the valuation methods employed and in the future expectations the buyers have for these two businesses. They are the announced purchase of Marsh Supermarkets Inc. for $88 million by Florida-based Sun Capital Partners and the acquisition of Suros Surgical Systems for $240 million by Massachusetts-based Hologic Inc. In the Marsh acquisition,...
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Tech acquisitions are bittersweet: Investors win, but state loses headquartersRestricted Content

April 24, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
In the past two weeks, central Indiana's two fastest-growing high-tech companies have announced their sales to larger out-of-state firms. Local leaders are of two minds about it. On the one hand, there's the enormous payday for investors. Massachusetts-based Hologic Inc. is buying Indianapolis-based medical-device maker Suros Surgical Systems Inc. for at least $240 million. And St. Louis-based TALX Corp. scooped up Carmelbased Internet testing firm Performance Assessment Network Inc. for $75 million. Optimists hope to see much of that money...
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Bank's price fell $100M: Union Federal buyer cut offer as negotiations dragged on; investors pushed for liquidityRestricted Content

April 17, 2006
Greg Andrews
No wonder word leaked early this year that Union Federal Bank was about to be sold. A new federal filing reveals that a deal had been brewing since early last year-spawned largely by mounting frustration among investors that they were unable to turn their stake in the bank's privately held parent, Fort Wayne-based Waterfield Mortgage Co., into cash. "The concerns over liquidity were voiced by many shareholders at Waterfield Mortgage's annual shareholders' meeting in the spring of 2004," according to...
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Repairs to tower may take months: Tenants scramble for other arrangementsRestricted Content

April 10, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
It was a symbol of his success. For the last three years, environmental attorney Robert Clark has relished the view from his corner office in One Indiana Square, high above the streets of Indianapolis. But on Sunday, April 2, tornadoforce winds left it in tatters. His family photos are gone. Likewise his case files and the many gifts he'd received over the years from friends or clients. "I understand there are no exterior walls," he said. "My desk is still...
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Event planner builds business on big-city experience: Award-winning firm grows into all-around performerRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Scott Olson
Indianapolis might not be as glamorous as Los Angeles or New York City, but Midwestern life seems to be suiting Gene Huddleson just fine. Nearly 10 years after returning to his Hoosier roots, the event planner has found a niche within the industry that builds upon his past travels. He and his colleagues at Detail + Design, in the Stutz II building across the street from the original Stutz building, accompany corporate clients who may be hosting activities throughout the...
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More students seek degree online: Working, career-hopping adults drawn by flexible degree formatRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
Chris O\'malley
ITT Educational Services Inc. may nearly double by the end of this year the number of degree programs it offers entirely through online instruction as the school seeks to enroll students who can't make class because of work or family obligations. Six online bachelor degree programs and two online associate degree programs are in various stages of regulatory and accreditation review, according to the Carmel-based technical education provider, which has 38,800 students enrolled at schools in 28 states. President and...
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Federal farm lending could shrivel under latest budget: Banking associations oppose proposed fee increasesRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Scott Olson
Brent Kerns likes to compare the U.S. Department of Agriculture's lending program to that of the Small Business Administration's. In short, the USDA helps farmers the way the SBA assists small-business owners. But if a proposal to cut the budget of the farm loan program is approved, it could become as expensive to use as the SBA's offering. Supporters fear a hike in user fees would hurt those who need the money the most. "That cost goes straight to the...
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You can take it to the bank: Financial experts say state's economy is rising, merger mania isn't over and regulatory laws could take a tollRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
On Feb. 24, IBJ Publisher Chris Katterjohn, Managing Editor Greg Andrews and banking reporter Matt Kish sat down with four leaders from Indianapolis' banking and finance sector: Judith Ripley, director of the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions; Kit Stolen, CEO of Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis; Steve Beck, president and CEO of the Indiana Venture Center; and Keith Slifer, senior vice president of LaSalle Bank. Among the topics of conversation: How's the state's economy doing? Are more bank mergers on...
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Federal deposit insurance reform beefs up coverage: Retirement savings accounts stand to benefit mostRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Scott Olson
Federal deposit insurance reforms signed into law by President Bush last month boost coverage of some retirement accounts and will raise coverage for other bank accounts beginning in 2010. The legislation, debated by lawmakers for the past six years, is significant because it offers the first increase in deposit insurance coverage in more than 25 years, and just the seventh rise since 1935. Federal deposit insurance currently covers as much as $100,000 per depositor. Starting no later than November, depositors...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Bank plays the 'local' card, but will it succumb to sale?Restricted Content

March 6, 2006
Greg Andrews
An in-your-face ad campaign that First Indiana Corp. rolled out last month highlights the Indianapolisbased bank's local roots and leaves the distinct impression it won't be accepting a buyout offer anytime soon. Rhetoric or reality? Time will tell. "If you run an Indiana business, you need an Indiana bank," reads one of the ads. It continues: "Remember when your local bank was actually local?" First Indiana executives and directors are savoring the sale of Union Federal Bank, which leaves First...
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Ayres stores may be razed: Smaller shops likely replacements at Castleton, GreenwoodRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Matthew Kish
Simon Property Group Inc. wants to take the wrecking ball to the soon-to-be-vacant L.S. Ayres stores at Castleton Square and Greenwood Park malls, clearing the way for development of a collection of smaller stores and restaurants, sources familiar with the plans say. "There have been numerous site plans circulated showing redevelopment with the existing structures removed," said Bill French, a local retail broker with St. Louis-based Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. Mark Perlstein, a partner with The Linder Co., an Indianapolis-based...
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Bank profit see-sawed before sale: Union Fed investors may have tired of volatile performanceRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Matthew Kish
Union Federal Bank's profits have gone up and down like an electrocardiogram since a group of elite investors bought a major stake in the privately held institution in 1999. That wildly inconsistent performance likely played a role in the decision by investors to sell the bank, experts say. On Feb. 3, both the bank and its parent company were sold to Bowling Green, Ohio-based Sky Financial Group Inc. for $330 million. The bank had been the thirdlargest in town. After...
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Sarbanes-Oxley spreads beyond public companies: Hospitals, other not-for-profits consider tightening rulesRestricted Content

February 6, 2006
Tom Murphy
Few topics might kill a cocktail conversation faster than the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, unless the dinner party includes hospital administrators, university presidents or other not-for-profit leaders. A desire to boost credibility-coupled with prodding from bond-rating ratings agencies-has broadened interest in the 4-year-old federal law far beyond the public companies it actually targets. Sarbanes-Oxley-passed by Congress in the wake of high-profile scandals at Enron, WorldCom and elsewhere-was intended to enhance financial disclosure and eliminate arrangements that could undermine the independence of auditors....
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Landing ad revenue: Airport charged up over sponsorship of electrical outletsRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Advertisements for mutual funds, watches and kolaches. Now as you wait at the gate for your flight, you'll even see ads on electrical outlets. The Indianapolis Airport Authority on Jan. 20 was expected to approve a $65,000 marketing partnership with Chase in what is the latest and certainly the most electrifying of all advertising schemes at Indianapolis International Airport. These are desperate times for marketers. Too many ads are getting lost in the shuffle. And barraged consumers have figured out...
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Firm retools after CEO exit: Norwood gives up on sale, to close 2 plantsRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
In recent months, Norwood Promotional Products has settled a lawsuit with its distributors, lost its CEO, put itself up for sale, and then taken itself off the block. Last week, the 2,000-employee company announced plant closings in Iowa and Pennsylvania. The swirl of activity is no cause for concern, according to Norwood officials, who say the No. 2 player in the promotional products industry is doing fine and will stay in Indianapolis. The privately held company-known for making customized products...
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Firm retools after CEO exit: Norwood gives up on sale, to close 2 plantsRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
In recent months, Norwood Promotional Products has settled a lawsuit with its distributors, lost its CEO, put itself up for sale, and then taken itself off the block. Last week, the 2,000-employee company announced plant closings in Iowa and Pennsylvania. The swirl of activity is no cause for concern, according to Norwood officials, who say the No. 2 player in the promotional products industry is doing fine and will stay in Indianapolis. The privately held company-known for making customized products...
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Landing ad revenue: Airport charged up over sponsorship of electrical outletsRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Advertisements for mutual funds, watches and kolaches. Now as you wait at the gate for your flight, you'll even see ads on electrical outlets. The Indianapolis Airport Authority on Jan. 20 was expected to approve a $65,000 marketing partnership with Chase in what is the latest and certainly the most electrifying of all advertising schemes at Indianapolis International Airport. These are desperate times for marketers. Too many ads are getting lost in the shuffle. And barraged consumers have figured out...
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Banking players on rise: Despite flood of mergers, area competition heats upRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Matthew Kish
Big-ticket bank mergers grabbed plenty of headlines in the past two years. Just don't let the splashy news stories fool you. The number of players in the Indianapolis banking market is expanding, even amid consolidation in the industry nationwide. Over the past 10 years, the number of banks taking deposits in the metropolitan area has grown from 41 to 56, according to annual data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Analysts attribute much of the growth to smaller banks and...
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Big bank heading for sale?: Union Fed, parent firm mum as talk of mergers intensifiesRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Matthew Kish
Officials with the companies in Fort Wayne and here aren't saying one way or the other. "We have nothing to announce," said Alvin "Kit" Stolen, CEO of Union Federal since 2002. "We officially wouldn't comment or address those kinds of rumors or speculation." The privately held companies are among the largest financial firms headquartered in Indiana. Union Federal has more than $3.4 billion in assets and ranks as the city's third-largest bank. Waterfield ranked 51st nationwide in mortgage originations in...
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New ATA shares harder to land: Public offering not expected as airline exits bankruptcyRestricted Content

January 2, 2006
Chris O\'malley
You probably wouldn't want to buy shares of the first discount airline in recent years to file bankruptcy reorganization-not unless you're a short-seller or a relative of Norman Vincent Peale. Not in this airline climate. But even they won't have a chance to buy shares being issued in ATA Holdings Corp. after the Indianapolis airline emerges from Chapter 11 as early as next month. ATA was delisted from Nasdaq shortly after it filed for bankruptcy in October 2004. Old shares...
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