Articles

Charter One Bank plans Indiana growth: Acquisition allows new owner to leverage 60 branches

Two and a half years ago, Charter One Bank had nary a single Indiana branch. Since then, it’s quietly built 60. Charter One is preparing an all-out assault on the Indiana bank market. Under the leadership of its new Indiana president and CEO, Norman S. Hatch, the bank plans to add 10 branches in 2005 and increase its Indiana head count from 400 to 500 employees. Hatch, who took charge Jan. 2, had been vice president of middle-market banking for…

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Aprimo escalates partnership with SAS: Tech firm says deal doesn’t mean merger is in the cards

Last week, Aprimo and North Carolina-based SAS Institute Inc. escalated an agreement they entered last October. What began as a cross-promotion partnership has led to an outright integration of the two firms’ software. Aprimo President and CEO Bill Godfrey is certain his deal with SAS simply means sharing the trail for a spell. Ever the entrepreneur, Godfrey’s eyes are on growing his firm large enough to conquer marketing’s uncharted territory single-handedly. But just as the untamed Old West gave way…

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Local buyout specialist attracts $43 million: Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. targets M&A

In 2002, it took Glenn Scolnik and his partners 85 road shows to raise $57 million for their new management buyout fund. They just raised another $43 million with a single presentation. “Our investors agreed we needed more money. It was a very easy fund-raise,” said Scolnik, president and CEO of locally based Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. “You don’t want to crow too much, because it’s not over ’til it’s over. Until you realize an investment, you only have…

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Unifying Indiana’s IT efforts: State’s new CTO plans to centralize computing

Indiana’s state Web portal, access-Indiana, won at least a dozen awards over the last four years. It was frequently lauded as a model of modern government efficiency-robust, reliable and user-friendly. But, according to new Indiana Chief Technology Officer Karl Browning, the reality was only skin deep. Certainly, accessIndiana is the handsome public face of state information technology. But beneath the surface, there’s a tangled mess of unconnected systems, each managed independently by a separate agency. Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican,…

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Bart plans 3rd run: Peterson has $1.2 million in his mayoral campaign chest

And how. Peterson, a Democrat, has raised $547,836 in the year since he defeated Republican challenger Greg Jordan to earn a second term. Including funds left over from the last election cycle, his total campaign chest currently stands at $1,217,189. For now, Peterson is more than the frontrunner in the 2007 Indianapolis mayor’s race. According to the Marion County clerk’s office, he’s the only candidate yet on file. Many had speculated that Peterson, perhaps the Indiana Democrat Party’s best-known figure…

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As leaders argue, local crime rises: Inner-city residents fear police consolidation, but city says it can’t afford current structure

Despite Mayor Bart Peterson’s addition of 200 cops in 2000-which gave IPD the strength to try community, or preventive, policing-crime jumped 11 percent over the last two years. Between them, the Indianapolis Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department responded to 5,487 more offenses last year than in 2002. Unless new money is found, Peterson has repeatedly warned, the cash-strapped city soon will be forced to fire IPD officers. Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson already struggles to fight suburban…

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Neighborhood watch groups helped trigger gains against violent crime:

Folks living inside the Indianapolis Police Department’s current district worry a new distribution of police after a merger means a return to more crime-particularly the violent crime they remember from the late 1990s. Violent crime in IPD’s district peaked in 1998, when 7,856 murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults were reported. It has dropped 27 percent in the six years since then. A decade ago, Waldine Anderson started a crime watch for her block on Indianapolis’ north side, between 46th…

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Art screens proliferating: Simon’s Landmark multiplex to threaten tiny Key Cinemas

When Simon Property Group Inc. and Landmark Theatres open their art multiplex in December, it’ll boast seven movie screens, stadium seating and a full bar, all under the Fashion Mall’s roof. The local art film crowd is palpably excited that the edgy indies, daring documentaries and foreign films usually found in New York or Los Angeles will be just a stone’s throw from their favorite stores and restaurants. Those films already are shown at Key Cinemas on the south side….

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Oak Street tables plans: Fast-growing mortgage firm postpones IPO

Oak Street Financial Services Inc., the fast-growing Carmelbased mortgage seller, has called off its initial public offering. “We still feel we’re in a growth phase,” said Oak Street spokesman Joe Poulos. “But some things have been scaled back, such as the IPO.” Oak Street filed initial IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission last April, outlining plans to raise up to $150 million from investors. But SEC documents show Oak Street withdrew its registration request Feb. 1 One of…

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Banking turnaround specialist returns home: First National names former People’s exec as CEO

One of the nation’s most successful bankers has returned to Indiana. After four years spent spearheading the turnaround of deeply troubled City National Bank in Charleston, W.Va., Jerry Francis took the helm at Kokomobased First National Bank & Trust Feb. 9. Francis is best known locally from his days as president of People’s Bank Corp. He left Indianapolis in 2001 after Fifth Third Bancorp bought People’s for $228 million. But his name is recognized across the nation thanks to the…

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New-technology veterans take hands-on approach: West Lafayette’s IN-vivo Ventures aids startups

Spinning out university research to form new companies is a tricky proposition. But the partners who formed West Lafayette-based IN-vivo Ventures believe they can show would-be academic entrepreneurs what’s behind the curtain. “If an entrepreneur is looking for funding, that’s not what IN-vivo’s about,” said co-founder Chad Barden. “What we are about is identifying good, strong commercial opportunities that lack a business focus, and inventors who lack the business expertise to take it to market.” Every day, scientists and engineers…

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Special Report: MURKY MISSION: Vague directive dilutes 21st Century Fund’s high-tech impact

When directors of Indiana’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund convened in May 2003, they’d already doled out $70 million in state grants over three years to fund h i g h – t e c h innovation a n d w e r e preparing to u n l e a s h another $60 million. But you wouldn’t know it after reading minutes from that meeting. They show a rollicking debate broke out over the 21st Century’s Fund’s…

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Area deals reach new pinnacle: Anthem’s $22.7 billion purchase of Wellpoint heads busy year for acquisitions

In 2004, Indianapolis had plenty of both, crushing all previous local merger-andacquisition records. IBJ tracks business deals larger than $5 million involving area companies in which financial terms are available. Last year, there were 56 of them, worth a grand total of $31 billion. Anthem Inc.’s massive $22.7 billion acquisition of Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. led the pack. Before 2004, $17 billion was the most M&A activity Indianapolis had ever seen in a single year. All by itself, Anthem’s deal…

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Incubator shakeup puts prez under fire: Rose-Hulman Ventures in turmoil after resignations

But outside his camp, others at Rose-Hulman are calling for Midgley’s scalp. They fear the man who replaced Samuel Hulbert in July is another George Armstrong Custer. A pair of sudden resignations at nationally renowned business incubator Rose-Hulman Ventures provoked the skirmish that now threatens to become an all-out assault on Midgley’s leadership. “We cannot trust him,” said a Rose-Hulman dean who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This is by far not the only time I have felt this way,…

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Dems hope for some strategic input: Indiana Economic Development Council completes state plan, but it could get lost in switch

For months, Jackie Nytes has been developing a strategy for statewide economic development. It comes off the presses this week. But the inauguration of Mitch Daniels leaves her wondering whether anyone will ever read it-let alone act on its recommendations. Nytes, a Democratic member of the City-County Council, serves as president of the Indiana Economic Development Council Inc. Daniels, the Republican governor-elect, is folding all state economic development efforts into the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The corporation, a public-private partnership,…

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Chronic underfunding frays public safety, penal systems: County faces big questions about jail overcrowding, lack of funds for police, prosecutors and public defenders

In 2005, the city of Indianapolis will spend $277 million on public safety. Marion County will lay out another $186 million. It’s not enough. While $463 million may sound like a lot of money, it has to pay for every aspect of local public safety. Every uniformed cop on the street. All the judges, public defenders and prosecutors in the courts. Jail guards and probation officers, not to mention forensic researchers, city firefighters-even dogcatchers. Decades of neglect have left the…

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‘Works’ proposal would overhaul Unigov: Yesterday’s system isn’t keeping up with current makeup of Marion County

Three decades ago, before Republicans conceived the local government consolidation they called Unigov, Indianapolis was the sleepy burg folks drove through on their way somewhere else. Once city and county government began working together, Indianapolis enjoyed dynamic growth. Today’s vibrant, modern metropolis is consolidation’s direct legacy. But in 35 years, Unigov has ossified. Most Marion County residents now live outside the old city limits. Yet the tax structure maintains the fiction they don’t. Old city residents shoulder the burden of…

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Mayor seeking broader control: Indianapolis Works proposal gives Peterson more authority over suburban budgets

Some parts of local government are financed by the city. Others are the bailiwick of the county or the townships. For years, the split didn’t much matter. Today, it means everything. While they held sway during the first three decades of Unigov, Republicans could iron out financial wrinkles behind closed doors. But the 1999 election of Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat, provoked a turf war. It escalated in 2003, when Democrats won their first-ever City-County Council majority. Now Democrats dominate…

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