Banking & Finance

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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MICKEY MAURER Commentary: Banker's exit won't end good deedsRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
Indiana, as you know, has not escaped the inevitable crush of consolidation in the banking industry. No one should have been surprised by the announcement that First Indiana Corp. was selling itself to an out-of-state bank, Milwaukee-headquartered Marshall & Isley Corp. In spite of the best efforts of M&I, The National Bank of Indianapolis, of which I am chairman of the board, will add business as a result of this transaction. Some of First Indiana's customers prefer to deal with...
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Merger has bank near top: Huntington a big player after acquisition of SkyRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
Scott Olson
Huntington Bancshares Inc. entered the Indianapolis market in 1986 and since has led a relatively unassuming existence, barely cracking the top 10 in local deposit amounts and operating just a few dozen branches. So, the Columbus, Ohio-based bank is entering uncharted territory following its $3.6 billion acquisition of fellow Buckeye bank Sky Financial Group Inc. in Bowling Green. Huntington completed its purchase of Sky on July 2, making it the 24th-largest domestic bank in the United States in terms of...
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Housing advocate seeing upswing: Mortgage market woes boost INHP participationRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
Michael Dabney
Al Smith of Chase Bank doesn't know Patricia Wells, but he is glad he was able to help the Indianapolis mother of five, if only indirectly. Wells closed on the purchase of a house on East Washington Street three months ago, thanks in no small part to two programs of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, a two-decade-old not-for-profit that has helped hundreds of families realize the American Dream of homeownership. "I'm a single mother with five kids and I didn't...
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Chase donating gifts it hopes will be noticedRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Not-for-profits that banked on consistent support from the banker down the street can no longer count on a tip of the top hat, thanks to ever-larger mergers among institutions that have changed the dynamic of their charitable giving.
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Huntington consolidates downtown office space: Bank leaving Capital Center after merger with SkyRestricted Content

July 16, 2007
Cory Schouten
Huntington Bancshares is giving up its local headquarters in Capital Center downtown now that it has completed its $3.6 billion purchase of Sky Financial Group. The 100 employees based at Capital Center, 201 N. Illinois St., will move to a Sky-owned office building at 45 N. Pennsylvania St. Sky bought the building last year as part of its $321 million purchase of locally based Union Federal Savings Bank. Bowling Green, Ohio-based Sky announced it was being purchased by Columbus, Ohio-based...
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CEOs' friendship helped pave M&I's way for First Indiana buyoutRestricted Content

July 16, 2007
Cory Schouten
If First Indiana Corp. was looking to pull off a sale quickly, Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. was a natural place to turn. First Indiana CEO Robert B. Warrington had been doing deals with the bank since he took the helm from Marni McKinney in 2006. Warrington also is a friend and golfing buddy of M&I CEO Mark Furlong.
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First Indiana's new marketing plan features superhero mascotRestricted Content

June 25, 2007
Cory Schouten
First Indiana Corp.'s new marketing campaign features a superhero sporting an orange cape and a white jumpsuit with the First Indiana logo. But First Indiana Man is just a means to introduce the real star of the bank's most aggressive marketing and account-growth effort in a decade: a free checking account the bank hopes will generate 20,000 new accounts in the next year.
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As barriers drop, even small firms go global: Local company pushed its blood monitor worldwide

June 25, 2007
J.K. Wall
Here's one way to send your company's revenue through the roof: Push your product into 70 countries around the world. That's easier said than done, of course. But it's exactly the path Polymer Technology Systems Inc. took to help quadruple sales of its cholesterol-checking device in the last three years. How Indianapolis-based PTS pulled off the feat shows how even small companies in Middle America can become global enterprises in today's economy. In fact, the possibility of worldwide expansion is...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Will state's job growth always trail nation's?Restricted Content

June 18, 2007
Patrick Barkey
You usually have to swallow your pride when it comes time to forecast the growth of the Indiana economy. That's because no matter what your heart says, your head tells you what the best forecast will be. That is the one that pulls up well short of growth in the rest of the country. There are a lot of talented people working hard around the state trying to change that. And if the full truth be told, most of our...
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Star Financial is betting big on Indianapolis: Fort Wayne bank plans hub office, 4 new branchesRestricted Content

June 11, 2007
Cory Schouten
Undeterred by stepped-up competition and tough margins, Fort Wayne-based Star Financial Bank is building an Indianapolis regional hub and has lined up land for four new locations. The privately held bank launched an Indianapolis-area expansion effort in 2001, and now has seven offices here-including three in Fishers, one in Carmel and one in Noblesville. The latest expansion salvo includes 25,000 square feet of leased space within an office building under construction at Keystone at the Crossing, next door to the...
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Classic Niche: Local insurer riding wave of classic-car enthusiasmRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
In 1993, Dan Yogodnik started a business with a friend that leased out exotic cars for special occasions. The biggest hurdle the partners encountered was lining up insurance for the cars. That experience spurred Yogodnik, who had been working in the banking industry, to start his own insurance firm. "If we had our own insurance agency, then we wouldn't have to chase all over the country [for the niche policies]," he said. What started out as a side business targeting...
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Banks lose patience with iffy borrowers:Restricted Content

May 21, 2007
The dreaded bank workout department isn't what it used to be for marginal borrowers, say two Indianapolis veterans who have watched the industry for decades. Until a couple of years ago, banks still were willing to help struggling companies through tough patches by restructuring loans and offering guidance in finding their way out of the woods. Now, banks are much quicker to cut off borrowers, said Dave Hamernik, a partner in Hamernik LLC. Hamernik, one of the region's most seasoned...
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NOTIONS: Beyond election reform, electorate re-engagementRestricted Content

May 21, 2007
Bruce Hetrick
I once spent a day serving as an Allen County election official. I was 20-something. I worked for Fort Wayne's mayor. And on Election Day, the mayor expected us to work the polls. For the sake of nostalgia and monotonyinterrupting conversations, I got myself assigned to the precinct at my high school. On the appointed Tuesday, I showed up at 5:15 a.m., did my voter-watching/guardagainst-shenanigans-by-the-other-party thing for 12 hours and helped with votecounting for two hours after that. Then I...
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