Southeastern Wisconsin financial service industry news
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
North Shore introduces digital wallet
Brookfield-based North Shore Bank has launched a digital wallet tool with the goal of simplifying online shopping for its customers. It is the first Wisconsin bank to offer the service.
The MasterPass, administered by MasterCard, was introduced at North Shore at the end of February. It provides a centralized location to securely store debit card, credit card, prepaid card and shipping information to make checkout faster for online purchases.
The free digital wallet can hold information from MasterCard, American Express, Visa, Discover and Diner’s Club cards. Users have the option to integrate another layer of security, with a mobile/SMS verification.
Digital wallets are increasingly common at financial institutions, as banks strive to meet customer demand for more efficient online banking and shopping. U.S. Bank also offers a digital wallet.
“We are always looking for new ways to help make banking, managing finances, and even shopping more convenient,” said Susan Doyle, vice president of branch operations at North Shore Bank. “With this digital wallet service, we can provide a new way for our customers to effectively and efficiently conduct online shopping.”
Artisan announces public offering
Milwaukee-based Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. has commenced a public offering of 7 million shares of its Class A common stock.
The offering’s underwriters will be given a 30-day option to purchase another 1.05 million shares.
Artisan, a global investment management firm, will use the net proceeds of the offering to purchase shares of its convertible preferred stock and common and preferred units of its subsidiary, Artisan Partners Holdings LP.
The shares are being sold by directors, officers and employees of the company and its subsidiary.
Summit and GMCU complete merger
Madison-based Summit Credit Union and West Allis-based Greater Milwaukee Credit Union have completed their merger.
The merger, announced in September, integrates GMCU’s $14 million in assets and 2,000 members. Summit now has total assets of $1.9 billion and more than 136,000 members across the state.
GMCU members are now part of Summit, and can use the credit union’s 28 branches and several Shared Service Center Network locations in the Milwaukee and Madison markets. They will also have access to Summit’s phone and web account services.
Summit Credit Union signs will replace GMCU signs at its one West Allis location on March 3.
Lori Pook, former chief executive officer of GMCU, will become assistant vice president—enterprise risk management at Summit. Kim Sponem remains president and CEO of Summit. No other changes were made to the labor force.
State bank profits up
Wisconsin state banks reported combined net income of $1.02 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from $828 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Quarterly Banking Profile released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The report included 260 reporting institutions, down from 266 last year. Total assets were $99.2 billion, up from $98.6 billion a year ago. Total deposits were $79.3 billion, up from $78.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Lending was up slightly, with $67.2 billion in total loans and leases compared to $66.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Racine-based Johnson Bank topped Wisconsin banks, reporting $100.1 million in net income for the quarter. The bank has $3.9 billion in total assets.
Next was Green Bay-based Associated Bank, with $50.7 million in quarterly net income, followed by Madison-based John Deere Financial at $21.3 million, Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management with $8.4 million and Sheboygan-based Community Bank & Trust with $5.9 million in net income.
Nationally, FDIC-insured institutions reported aggregate net income of $40.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 16.9 percent increase from the $34.4 billion in earnings reported a year earlier.
On the Money: Avoid red flags to convince lenders
In today's lending environment, “red flags” can significantly impact your ability to get the funds you need for your business. Red flags result in lenders questioning the quality of financial management within your company or of you as the owner – and assessing the quality of management and owners is a hot topic with lenders today.
Read more in the new On the Money column by Adam Newman of Landmark Credit Union.
Carroll, Keane form graduate program in entrepreneurship
Twenty-four students will explore their potential to excel as entrepreneurs in an experiential graduate program to be launched by Carroll University and Tim Keane, director of Brookfield-based Golden Angels Investors, this September.
Through the graduate program in entrepreneurship, titled "The Entrepreneurial Journey," students will earn a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship. The program will play out over the course of four work-heavy months encompassing 200 hours of instruction among five classes led by successful entrepreneurs. The program will also include a lean startup project that connects students to real customers as well as additional mentoring from other seasoned entrepreneurs.
"The idea is that it is more than a class or two or a lecture or meeting, and it's less than committing to (starting) a company and (going) full time at it," Keane said. "Our goal is no less than an experience that changes everything for the participants – that gives them not only the knowledge and the tools but the determination to face challenges with confidence and ability. We hope that it means that they'll be able to connect to each other and then to the other people in the program in a more permanent and important way."
The program will generally serve two groups of students: individuals wondering if entrepreneurship is the right career path and individuals seeking more information about how to successfully launch their own startup.
"Everyone will come out of this with the self-reliance to make the decision that they want to make," Keane said.
The individuals in the program will be just as important as the curriculum at the center of it, he said.
"We're looking for both entrepreneurs who want to work together on business ideas and maybe companies with startups and innovative ideas that want to send people to develop them," Keane said.
In addition to Keane, course instructors are Andy Nunemaker, CEO of Dynamis Corporation and former CEO of EMSystems; Laura King, former president and CEO of NeuWave Medical; Bob Zieserl, a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist based in Chicago; Daniel Weinfurter, a serial entrepreneur and creator of Parson Group; and Paul Schueller, founder and CEO of Franklin Energy.
"They're a very impressive group of people," Keane said.
Classes within "The Entrepreneurial Journey" will run on 14 Monday nights and eight Saturdays at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee. Keane envisions the program as an annual one with a cohort starting each September.
For more information about the graduate program and requirements, visit carrollu.edu/entrepreneur.
BMO Private Bank names Kollauf estate planning manager
Rick Kollauf has been named estate planning manager at BMO Private Bank.
He will provide estate planning expertise for high net worth BMO Private Bank Clients across the country from Milwaukee.
Kollauf has 27 years of experience in advising clients of high net worth. He most recently served in a similar role at Harris myCFO, BMO's ultra-high net worth arm. Kollauf also worked as director of business and tax planning at Vogel Consulting in Brookfield and a tax manager at Arthur Andersen.
He holds a juris doctor degree and a certified public accountant designation.
"Truly effective estate planning requires exceptional guidance and advice, and that is exactly what Rick can provide for our clients," said Steve Williams, vice president, financial planning strategy, BMO Private Bank. "His estate planning experience, as well as his tax planning and succession planning skills make him ideal for this critical role."
Vertis acquisition boosts Quad/Graphics
Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. reported fourth quarter net earnings of $60 million, or $1.24 per share, up significantly from $20.7 million, or 39 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Net sales were $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion in the same period a year ago.
The company attributed the increase in net sales and earnings to the acquisition of Vertis Holdings Inc. in January 2013.
For the full year, net earnings were $30.9 million, or 65 cents per share, down significantly from $87.1 million, or $1.78 per share, in 2012.
Quad's 2013 net sales were $4.8 billion, up from $4.1 billion in 2012.
"Our fourth quarter and full-year 2013 results met our expectations, and we were especially pleased with our continued strong cash flow generation," said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Our ability to generate significant cash flow and maintain a strong balance sheet while simultaneously reducing our pension and debt obligations has allowed us to remain flexible with how we deploy capital. We have invested in our business to strengthen and expand our offering to clients, returned cash to our shareholders through quarterly cash dividends, and taken advantage of several unique acquisition opportunities, including Vertis and the recently announced UniGraphic transaction."
Hal Leonard acquires Noteflight
In a major strategic move, Milwaukee-based Hal Leonard Corp. has acquired 100-percent ownership of Boston-based Noteflight LLC, a fast-growing online community of nearly 1 million music makers.
Founded in 2008, Noteflight operates a website where musicians, composers, songwriters, arrangers, teachers and students can create, edit and share music scores in the cloud, instantly and easily. The website also gives musicians the opportunity to collaborate and comment on each other's music, while sharing musical opinions and other information through user forums.
With support and guidance from Hal Leonard, the existing Noteflight team will continue working together and will remain headquartered in Boston. Noteflight will operate as an independent company, within Hal Leonard's overall global operations. The company has aggressive expansion and growth plans for the immediate future.
Hal Leonard president Larry Morton said, "The marriage of Hal Leonard and Noteflight is a perfect fit. The Noteflight online community and platform are very important to our future plans, and we are excited about the possibilities of working together to make online music scores more accessible and more widely used."
Noteflight president Joe Berkovitz said, "Noteflight was founded on the idea of using the web to help musicians create music wherever, whenever and however they like. We feel very positive about the shared vision between Noteflight and Hal Leonard, and about the myriad possibilities for blending technology and content. There are tremendous opportunities in the market, and we are poised to capture them together."
Brady Corp. sells Die-Cut business
Milwaukee-based Brady Corp., a world leader in identification solutions, announced it has reached an agreement to sell its Die-Cut business to Boyd Corp. of Modesto, Calif.
Brady announced its intention to sell its Die-Cut business in May 2013 in order to focus on its Identification Solutions and Workplace Safety businesses. The Die-Cut business, with sales of approximately $192 million in the fiscal year ended July 31, 2013, consists of the manufacture and sale of precision converted products such as gaskets, meshes, heat-dissipation materials, antennae, dampers, filters and similar products sold primarily to the electronics industry with a concentration in the mobile-handset and hard-disk drive industries and other traditional die-cut parts and thermal management products used in the automotive electronics and telecommunications industries.
The company believes the Die-Cut business is no longer a good fit in its portfolio and that both customers and employees in that business will be better served under an owner with die-cut products as part of its core offering.
The sale of the Die-Cut business is expected to close in two steps, each subject to customary closing conditions. The first closing, which is anticipated to occur within 90 days, involves the sale of the Die-Cut business with operations in Germany, Thailand, Korea and Malaysia. The second closing, which is anticipated to occur in the fourth quarter of Brady's fiscal year ending July 31, 2014, involves the sale of the Die-Cut business with operations in China and associated global sales support.
This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Molly Dill. This bulletin is published every Tuesday morning. Send financial services industry news and tips to email@example.com or call her at (414) 336-7144.
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