Statewide: Triangle region, December 2014

 In 2014-12

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Beck bounces back

More than a decade after he left Raleigh-based Capital Bank under a cloud, Jim Beck may be the comeback champ of North Carolina banking. As CEO of TrustAtlantic Financial, he and financial partner Steve Johnson took a struggling bank with one branch and built a franchise that attracted an $80 million buyout in October from First Horizon National, the Memphis-based owner of First Tennessee Bank, that state’s biggest. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2015, with TrustAtlantic’s five branches under the First Tennessee banner. Beck helped organize Capital Bank in 1997, raising $27 million, a record for a North Carolina startup. He left in August 2003, a day after the bank restated its quarterly earnings downward 82% because of the accounting for troubled loans. TrustAtlantic opened in 2007 after Beck and Johnson raised $40 million and paid $8.1 million for Greenville-based Millennia Community Bank, a minority-owned bank with $30 million of assets. The timing proved savvy, escaping the bad loans issued before the recession that hammered the industry. TrustAtlantic moved its headquarters to Wake County, where it has four branches. Assets expanded more than tenfold, and First Tennessee is paying 1.61 times TrustAtlantic’s tangible book value, slightly better than the national average of 1.56, according to an SNL Financial analysis of bank deals announced earlier this year. First Horizon’s CEO is Bryan Jordan, a Salisbury native whose father ran a savings and loan there for many years. First Tennessee has had a commercial-loan office in the Triangle since 2005 and opened a Raleigh branch in 2013. “There are very few markets in the country that are more desirable than the Raleigh-Cary metro area,” says Beck, who will become First Tennessee’s Triangle market president. “Many banks want to be here, and if they are here, they want a stronger presence.”


Briefs

RALEIGH — Adam Derbyshire stepped down as chief financial officer of Salix Pharmaceuticals after the company said it is auditing its inventory management. The move followed a report that distributors were holding unusually high amounts of its drugs, which treat gastrointestinal diseases. Shares of Salix declined 34% on the first trading day after the news was disclosed. Timothy Creech, senior vice president of finance and administrative services, is interim CFO.

RALEIGHGreater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce CEO Harvey Schmitt will retire March 31, 2015, or when a successor is named. Schmitt, 65, has led the 2,300-member group since 1994. At the chamber he promoted a new Raleigh Convention Center and the $1 billion Triangle Expressway. He helped recruit Red Hat to downtown Raleigh and the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team.

HOLLY SPRINGSNovartis will sell its local manufacturing plant to Australia-based pharmaceutical company CSL as part of a $275 million divestiture of its flu vaccines business. The Basel, Switzerland-based company employs about 550 people at the 475,000-square-foot plant. CSL isn’t planning any layoffs. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

LOUISBURGNovant Health laid off more than a quarter of its staff — 59 of 203 employees — at Franklin Medical Center and reduced the number of inpatient beds for acute-care services from 70 to 2. The hospital will maintain 13 inpatient beds for patients in its geriatric dementia unit. The Winston-Salem-based health system, which had revenue of $3.6 billion in 2013, cited declining patient volumes and lower reimbursements from insurers for the changes.

DUNN — Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley Health assumed management of Harnett Health, which operates the 101-bed Betsy Johnson Hospital here and 50-bed Central Harnett Hospital in Lillington. The company laid off 19 people as part of a restructuring plan. Harnett Health, managed since 2005 by Raleigh-based WakeMed Health and Hospitals, lost $24 million in 2013 and is expected to lose $16 million this year.

RALEIGH — First Citizens BancShares and subsidiary First Citizens Bank named Craig Nix chief financial officer. He replaces Glenn McCoy, who retired. Nix was CFO of Columbia, S.C.-based First Citizens Bancorporation from 2001 until the two banks merged in October.

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