Triad Business Bank opens with more than $50 million raised

 In March 2020

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Ramsey Hamadi

Triad Business Bank CEO Ramsey Hamadi

Triad Business Bank wants to reflect the economic vitality of its region, which has lost the headquarters of several locally based banks through buyouts over the last six years, CEO Ramsey Hamadi says. By exceeding regulators’ minimum requirement for $48.5 million in capital, the bank is poised to be one of the largest startup U.S. banks formed since the recession of 2007-09.

About $40 million of the $51 million raised through early February came from Triad and N.C. businesspeople. The plan is to have offices in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem and target the 10,200 Triad businesses that have annual revenue of $1 million to $100 million. The bank will rely on funding its loans with deposits from its business customers and wealthy individuals instead of retail sales of certificates of deposits and savings accounts to consumers.

Hamadi says the new bank’s success relies on the support of the 15 directors and four executives who have committed 20% of the capital raised, or about $10 million. Among those making the biggest commitments, each topping $500,000, include:

• Stanley Bradshaw, a veteran bank investor and former CEO who lives in Pinehurst
• Kenan Wright, president of Eden-based general contractor The Wright Co.
• Kevin Jessup, managing partner of Salem Investment Partners, a Greensboro-based private equity group
• Chris Dunbar, president of High Point-based Blue Ridge Co., a real estate developer
• Greg York, president of High Point-based Vann York Auto Group, which owns five car dealerships
• Hamadi, a Marine who came to the Triad to work atGreensboro-based NewBridge Bank in 2009 after serving as chief financial officer of St. Louis-based Pulaski Bank

Other directors of Triad Business Bank include Arthur Samet, CEO of contractor Samet Corp.; Nexsen Pruet lawyer Christine Myatt; and Ed Pearce, president of Tencarva Machinery.

“Before we started the offering, we worked to make sure that in all three cities, we had leaders in the community who wanted to be part of this bank,” Hamadi says. Triad leaders recognized that less than 2% of the region’s deposits were held by local community banks last year, down from 24% in 2014 after eight significant local banks were acquired.

“It is clear that the dominant super-regional and nationwide banks are transferring wealth away from this market using the Triad’s deposits to fund loans in faster-growing markets often outside of North Carolina,” according to the bank’s offering circular.

BB&T moved its headquarters from Winston-Salem to Charlotte as part of its merger with SunTrust Banks to create Truist Financial, which may provide an opening for Triad rivals. But Hamadi notes that BB&T’s focus is on bigger companies.

Hamadi joined NewBridge Bank when it was trading at $1 per share and appeared nearly insolvent. Six years later, Yadkin Financial bought it for $450 million, or about $10 per share. Former NewBridge executives Robin Hager and Wes Budd will be Triad’s president and chief credit officer, respectively.

Triad’s strategy differs from Raleigh-based Dogwood State Bank, which opened in September after raising $100 million, including $70 million from three investment firms based out of state. Formed after recapitalizing Morehead City-based Sound Bank, Dogwood operates seven branches.

Philadelphia-based investment bank Janney Montgomery Scott has agreed to invest as much as $15 million in Triad Business Bank. Janney is a subsidiary of Horsham, Pa.-based Penn Mutual Life Insurance.

“The Triad’s economic story isn’t bad despite having lost a lot of jobs in large businesses in the more traditional industries,” Hamadi says. “It’s actually a pretty good economic story because we have so many good small businesses. We think our bank will be important to this market.”

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