Southeastern Wisconsin financial service industry news
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Roundy's CFO leaves for Rite Aid
July 29, 2014 10:20 AM
Milwaukee-based Roundy's Inc. announced that its chief financial officer and executive vice president, Darren Karst, will leave the company to join Rite Aid Corp.

Karst has served as CFO and EVP at Roundy’s since 2002. He will serve as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Camp Hill, Penn.-based Rite Aid, one of the largest drug stores in the country.

Michael Turzenski, group vice president and chief accounting officer at Roundy’s, has been promoted to group vice president, chief financial officer at the grocer. He joined the company in 2007 as vice president, controller and has served in his current role since February 2012.

“Darren has been a great partner and leader during his tenure here at Roundy’s,” said Robert Mariano, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Roundy’s. “He has been a significant contributor to our growth and he leaves us with a talented management team that he developed. I will miss Darren and I wish him well in his future personal and professional endeavors. We are excited to have Mike Turzenski accept the CFO role. Mike has been an important part of our management team and has played a very active role in executing our business objectives. We envision a seamless transition from Darren to Mike.”

Roundy's operates Pick ‘n Save, Copps, Metro Market and Mariano’s branded stores. It has 121 stores in Wisconsin, including 60 in the Milwaukee area.

As the Milwaukee area grocery market has recently become increasingly competitive, the company has lost some of its market share. Roundy’s has focused on growing its business in Chicago and has announced closures of its Minneapolis/St.Paul Rainbow stores and its Stevens Point distribution center. The company reported a net loss of $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2014.

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Culver to retire from MGIC
July 29, 2014 10:37 AM
MGIC Investment Corp. announced that Curt Culver will retire as chief executive officer, effective March 1.

Patrick Sinks, 57, will take Culver’s place as CEO and join the board of directors. Culver, 62, will become non-executive chairman. Sinks currently serves as president and chief operating officer of both MGIC and its principal subsidiary, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., at which the same changes will occur.

"The board appreciates Curt's leadership and his management of the company throughout his tenure as CEO, including developing executive talent,” said Kenneth Jastrow II, lead director of MTG. “The board's selection of Pat shows its confidence that Pat will be an excellent leader, and along with the rest of the management team, will continue to move the organization forward."

Sinks has been president and COO since January 2006. He served as executive vice president-field operations from 2002 to 2006. Sinks has also worked as senior vice president-controller and chief accounting officer, and in other accounting and finance roles at the company. He holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Mary.

"I am honored to continue to build on the strong foundation that Curt has established,” Sinks said. “His strategic vision, thoughtful leadership, business acumen and personal style have enabled MGIC to be a leader in our industry. Our company is well positioned for the future and our management team is as strong as it has ever been. I am confident that we will deliver the results our shareholders, customers and co-workers expect and deserve."

Culver joined MGIC in 1982 and became president in 1999. He was CEO and president from 2000 to January 2006. He has served as CEO and chairman since January 2005.

"I have been very fortunate to have had a long and successful career with a wonderful company and to have worked with so many talented people,” Culver said. “Pat has been a very important contributor to our company's success since he joined us 36 years ago. We have a tradition of internally developing our CEOs and I am proud that we have someone of Pat's caliber and expertise to lead us. I am confident that Pat's extensive industry knowledge, client-first approach and strategic vision will enable our company to prosper well into the future. My charge as non-executive chairman is to ensure a smooth transition and enable Pat to focus all of his energy on running the company."

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Storage Systems Midwest acquires Babush
July 29, 2014 10:30 AM
Storage Systems Midwest Inc., a Waukesha-based provider of materials storage solutions for commercial and industrial companies throughout the United States, has acquired Sussex-based Babush Material Handling Systems Inc.

The acquisition significantly expands Storage Systems Midwest’s design capabilities and product breadth of automated and materials handling and storage-related products. Equipment added to Storage Systems Midwest’s existing product offerings includes state-of-the-art material handling systems and conveying equipment, robotic palletizers, stretch-wrapping machines, and automated storage and retrieval systems.

According to R.J. Safranek, president of Storage Systems Midwest, the additional engineering expertise and product lines allow the company to offer a broader range of solutions designed to help manufacturers and warehousing distribution companies efficiently move, sort and package materials. The added equipment lines also complement Storage Systems Midwest’s storage solutions that are specifically designed and engineered to save time, space and labor.

“The world of logistics and the challenges our customers face change rapidly, especially for those who operate on a global scale,” Safranek said. “This product acquisition exemplifies how Storage Systems Midwest constantly evolves to match the needs of our customers – as well as our commitment to helping them increase the value of their space and move materials as efficiently as possible.”

The Babush corporate name eventually will be dissolved. Babush occupied a facility that housed offices and warehouse space in a building shared by another company, called Bevco Engineering. Babush will vacate its portion of the space.

Babush was managed by Chris Schult who served as owner/president of the company. Schult has not joined Storage Systems Midwest. Schult is president of Bevco Engineering.

Five Babush employees have joined Storage Systems Midwest. Other Babush employees have joined Bevco Engineering.

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Water Council to get part of $30 million JPMorgan grant
July 29, 2014 10:40 AM
The Water Council is one of 10 nonprofit cluster organizations in the country included in a five-year, $30 million grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Milwaukee-based Water Council integrates freshwater research, innovation, education and business development with the goal of making the city a global water technology hub.

The other organizations included in the grant are: the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Free Enterprise Center; LA Cleantech in Los Angeles; the New Jersey Innovation Institute in Newark, N.J.; the New Orleans BioInnovation Center; QB3 in San Francisco; Washington Interactive Network in Seattle; and BioSTL in St. Louis.

JPMorgan will not release the amount invested in each of the organizations until later this year, a spokesman said.

The grants, part of a new JPMorgan program called Small Business Forward SM, works to connect entrepreneurs with the critical resources to help their businesses grow, create jobs and strengthen communities. It specifically targets high-growth economic “clusters” that work with small businesses in a particular sector.

The organizations will use the grants to provide small businesses with networking, educational partnerships, workforce management training, supplier networks and export promotion.

“Beyond their vital role in our economy, small businesses are often the source of innovation and inspiration,” said Scott Geller, chief executive officer of Chase Business Banking. “Helping local, small business clusters grow faster and create more jobs will take JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in the entrepreneurial community to a new level.”

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Harley revenue up, shipments down
July 29, 2014 10:43 AM
Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. reported second quarter net income of $354.2 million, or $1.62 per share, up from $271.7 million, or $1.21 per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Revenue was $1.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the same period a year ago.

Dealers sold 90,218 motorcycles worldwide in the second quarter, up from 90,193 in the second quarter of 2013. U.S dealer sales were 58,225, down from 58,241 in the same period a year prior, which the company attributed to a prolonged harsh winter. As a result, the company has lowered its new motorcycle shipment guidance for the full year. It previously planned to ship 279,000 to 284,000 motorcycles to dealers worldwide, but now plans to ship 270,000 to 275,000 bikes.

Higher motorcycle shipments and higher gross margin contributed to a 32.3 percent increase in operating income from motorcycles and related products, to $473.3 million. And revenue from motorcycles also grew, up 16.2 percent to $1.5 billion.

"Harley-Davidson's second-quarter results reflect the financial strength of the company and brand, including the benefits of continuous improvement throughout our operation," said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As a customer-led organization, our employees, dealers in 90 countries and suppliers are focused every day on providing outstanding products and experiences for customers around the world."

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A.O. Smith reports record revenue
July 29, 2014 10:46 AM
Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith Corp.reported second quarter net earnings of $57.3 million, or 63 cents per share, up from $42.1 million, or 45 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Net sales were a record $595.4 million, up from $549.1 million a year prior.

The water technology company attributed the results to a robust sales increase in its China market. The Rest of the World segment, which includes China, India and Europe, was up 14 percent to $193.6 million in sales.

The North American segment also saw a sales increase, up 5 percent to $410.1 million on U.S. residential and commercial water heaters and Lochinvar products.

"A. O. Smith enjoyed excellent performance in the second quarter thanks to strong contributions from our China business, with sales up 17 percent and operating profit up significantly in the quarter," said Ajita Rajendra, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our U. S. water heater and boiler sales continue to drive our domestic growth."

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Marcus caps record quarter
July 29, 2014 10:50 AM
The Marcus Corp. reported fiscal fourth quarter net earnings of $4.3 million, or 16 cents per share, up from $3.5 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The Milwaukee-based company reported record quarterly revenues of $108.5 million, a 7.8-percent increase from $100.1 million a year earlier.

“Our excellent fourth quarter results provided a strong ending to a very solid year for The Marcus Corporation. Fiscal 2014 revenues set new records for both divisions and for the company as a whole. Marcus Theatres significantly outperformed the industry for the second consecutive quarter and Marcus Hotels & Resorts continued its steady improvement,” said Gregory Marcus, president and chief executive officer. “Our excellent fourth quarter results provided a strong ending to a very solid year for The Marcus Corporation. Fiscal 2014 revenues set new records for both divisions and for the company as a whole. Marcus Theatres significantly outperformed the industry for the second consecutive quarter and Marcus Hotels & Resorts continued its steady improvement.”

Fiscal 2014 revenues set new records for both divisions and for the company as a whole.

Revenues for Marcus Theatres were up 10.7 percent for the fourth quarter and 10.8 percent for the full year.

“The fourth quarter revenues and operating income set new records for any 13-week fourth quarter in the division’s history,” Marcus said. “Despite the fact that the national box office was down slightly during our fourth quarter period due to a weaker slate of movies in May, we achieved an 8.2-percent increase in admissions. We attribute this strong performance to the major investments we are making in our theatres, along with successful marketing and operational strategies.”

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Sensient earnings down on restructuring charges
July 29, 2014 10:52 AM
Milwaukee-based Sensient Technologies Corp. reported second quarter net earnings of $29.1 million, or 59 cents per share, down from $32.3 million, or 65 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Revenue was $374.7 million, down from $378.8 million in the same period a year ago.

The flavorings, flavors and colors manufacturer put a restructuring plan into place at the beginning of 2013 to eliminate underperforming operations, consolidate manufacturing facilities and improve internal efficiencies. This resulted in $13 million of pre-tax restructuring and other costs in the second quarter.

Sensient’s board of directors also recently approved amending its articles of incorporation, by laws and corporate governance guidelines to include a majority voting standard in uncontested elections of directors. This replaces the company’s plurality voting standard and director resignation policy. Shareholders will vote on the amendments at the 2015 annual meeting.

“I am very pleased with the strong results reported by the company and each of the operating groups in the second quarter,” said Paul Manning, president and chief executive officer. ”Each of the Groups reported local currency operating profit growth of over five percent and significant margin improvement. We continue to see progress in the Flavors & Fragrances Group and we are optimistic about future opportunities across all of our businesses.”

The company avoided a board takeover attempt by Connecticut hedge fund FrontFour Capital Group LLC at its shareholder meeting in April.

Since FrontFour’s announcement of the intent to elect its own directors, the color, flavor and fragrance manufacturer has created a new independent lead director position, changed its long-term equity incentive compensation plan and announced the restructuring.

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Money moves
July 29, 2014 10:22 AM

Dan Burzynski, EA, has been promoted to tax supervisor at Komisar Brady. He has been in the company’s tax department for eight years, working with nonprofit, individual and business clients to prepare, review and plan.

John Gonzalez has joined the mortgage lending staff at Waukesha State Bank. He has 22 years of industry experience, most recently at Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. Gonzalez holds a finance degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and will work out of the Brookfield office.

Terry Herder has joined the mortgage lending staff at Waukesha State Bank. He has 29 years of real estate lending experience, most recently as senior loan officer at Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. Heder, a graduate of Waukesha County Technical College, specializes in financing developments.

Josh Kotter has joined the mortgage lending staff at Waukesha State Bank. He has nine years of industry experience, most recently as regional mortgage loan officer at First Merit Mortgage. Kotter will work out of the Mukwonago office.

Kurt Krebsbach has been promoted to mortgage producing sales manager at Waukesha State Bank. He previously served as a mortgage consultant, and will now work out of the downtown Waukesha office. Krebsbach has more than 20 years of industry experience, and has worked at WSB since 2013. In his new role, he will lead, coordinate and direct the daily management of the mortgage consultant team, as well as establish and monitor production goals and conduct recruiting and training.

John Kuehn, CPA, has been promoted to accounting supervisor at Komisar Brady. He has been with the firm for four years, plus an internship. Kuehn serves business and individual clients on audits, annual budgets, insurance needs, payroll processing and employee benefit plan audits.

Nicki Mortensen has joined Komisar Brady as a tax preparer. She has more than eight years of public accounting experience. Mortensen graduated from UW-Whitewater.

Allison Radloff, CPA, MS, has been promoted to accounting supervisor at Komisar Brady. She has worked at the firm for four years in the accounting department, assisting business clients with compilation and review engagements, year-end planning and day-to-day chief financial officer/controller needs.

Orrie VandenLangenberg has joined Komisar Brady & Co. LLP as a staff accountant. VandenLangenberg recently completed a tax and accounting internship at Komisar Brady. He earned a bachelor’s in accounting and finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently working on a master’s in accounting.

Justin Vrakas has been promoted to tax senior at Komisar Brady. He has been with the company for two years, working with individuals and entities in tax preparation and planning, as well as preparation of trust and gift tax returns.

Peter Wilder, an attorney in the banking and financial institutions practice group at Godfrey & Kahn S.C. in Milwaukee, has been appointed to the board of directors at the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association. The statewide organization represents he residential real estate finance industry. Wilder assists banks, mortgage banks and other financial companies with mergers and acquisitions, branch sales, vendor contract negotiations, capital raises, mortgage regulation, consumer finance laws and other regulatory and compliance matters. He holds a bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.

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Molly Dill 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 or call her at (414) 336-7144.

Additional Resources

» Wisconsin Association of Accountants
» Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants
» Wisconsin Association for Financial Professionals

Financial Institutions

» Wisconsin Bankers Association
» The Wisconsin Credit Union League
» Community Bankers of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association

Financial Planning

» Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin
» National Association of Personal Financial Advisors


» Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Mergers & Acquisitions

» Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries
» Association for Corporate Growth - Wisconsin
» Turnaround Management Association - Chicago/Midwest

Other Resources

» Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
» Wisconsin Government Finance Officers Association

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