Statewide: Charlotte region, November 2014

 In 2014-11
Charlotte’s CEO shakeup

When John Hipp became CEO of New Dominion Bank in 2010, he knew it would be a short reign. “I was never the long-term solution.” Hipp, a former Wachovia banker who later led two South Carolina community banks, will retire at the end of the year after helping the troubled bank raise nearly $11 million from more than 260 investors. The announcement that he would be departing came amid news that two other CEOs of Charlotte community banks were also moving on. That doesn’t necessarily mean the sky (or profit) is falling. Banks that survived the recession need new growth strategies. Blaine Jackson, who will succeed Hipp, says, “John had led us through the war — raising capital. I think we’re entering into a new phase of peacetime. It’s a phase
of growth. We’re no longer trying to survive.”


Aug. 26
Carolina Premier Bank
Gone: John Kreighbaum
Replacement: Chief Operating Officer Caryn Johnson is interim CEO
Reason: Kreighbaum, a founder of the bank, sent an email to employees, writing, “This week marks our seventh anniversary, and having invested a total of nine years of my life’s dream, it’s time to move on.”
Bank performance: The bank, with $246 million in assets, earned about $664,000 last year, compared with a record $723,000 in 2012.


Sept. 10
NewDominion Bank
Going: John Hipp at year-end
Replacement: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Blaine Jackson
Reason: “My goal here was to come and see if I could work with a great group of people and save the company and set it up for subsequent chapters,” Hipp says.
Bank performance: Between March 2013 and March 2014, its Texas ratio — nonperforming loans and real estate divided by capital and reserves — improved from 173% to 66%. (A ratio exceeding 100% is considered a warning sign.)

Sept. 12
CommunityOne Bank
Gone: Brian Simpson
Replacement: President Bob Reid
Reason: “The need to reduce operating expenses to levels consistent with the company’s peers was an obvious focus,” Chairman Chan Martin said in a statement.
Bank performance: With a private-equity firm’s backing, Simpson merged two troubled banks, CommunityOne and Bank of Granite, to form a $2 billion-asset company. It earned $4 million during the six months ended June 30, compared with a loss of nearly $8 million the same period last year.

Briefs

CHARLOTTEAvidXchange will invest $21.4 million to build a 115,000-square-foot headquarters, adding 603 jobs to its 200 here by the end of 2018. Annual pay will average $61,651, higher than Mecklenburg County’s $59,046. The provider of automated accounts-payable software to small and midsize businesses could receive more than $7.5 million in state grants if it meets job-creation targets.

CHARLOTTENucor acquired Ghent, Ky.-based Gallatin Steel, which turns scrap metal into flat-rolled steel, for about $770 million in cash. Nucor is the nation’s largest steel producer and employs more than 22,000 in 22 states, including about 750 in North Carolina.

MOORESVILLE — Harvest Garden Pro, a division of Waltham, Mass.-based Harvest Power that sells mulch and soil to retailers, will establish a regional headquarters here, creating 33 jobs over three years. Average annual pay is expected to be more than $70,000, higher than Iredell County’s $42,724. The company will invest $120,000 and receives a state grant of up to $45,000 if it meets investment and hiring goals.

CHARLOTTECarlisle acquired LHi Technology, a Singapore-based manufacturer of cables for medical equipment, from London-based private-equity firm 3i Group for $195 million. Carlisle, which employs about 8,000 in the U.S., Europe and Asia, makes products for the aerospace, defense and medical industries.

CHARLOTTEBank of America elected CEO Brian Moynihan chairman. CEO since 2010, Moynihan, 55, replaces former DuPont CEO Charles Holliday Jr., who became chairman in 2009 after shareholders voted to separate the leadership roles. Holliday will remain on the board.

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