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Finance

Chicago-area insurance brokerage and financial services firm Alera Group has acquired West Michigan Insurance Inc., a Grand Rapids property and casualty agency.

A proposal by a trio of federal agencies would bring major banking industry regulations into the modern digital age as banking is increasingly done electronically instead of in branch offices.

CertifID LLC, a Grand Rapids company that developed software to protect money wire transfers in real estate transactions, has closed on $12.5 million in growth capital.


AKalamazoo cannabis company’s recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will test some particularly murky legal waters and could potentially set a legal precedent for other cannabis-related businesses facing insolvency.

Lending to the commercial real estate sector remained strong through the first quarter, particularly for manufacturing and multifamily residential developments.

Krista Flynn, who started this week in a new role as Midwest regional executive for commercial banking at PNC Bank, discusses the current lending environment in what she describes as relatively volatile economic conditions.



Angel investing in Michigan rebounded well in 2021 as the amount invested neared — and deal flow exceeded — pre-pandemic levels.

PNC Bank has named Krista Flynn as its new executive leading commercial banking in the Midwest.

Huntington Bancshares Inc.’s acquisition last year of Detroit-based TCF Financial Corp. created the second-largest bank operating in Michigan for deposit market share and with more branch offices than any other bank. The Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington, which also now ranks among the 20 largest banks in the U.S., has since worked to integrate TCF.


Lower fee income resulting from reduced home mortgage originations and the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program loans caused Macatawa Bank Corp.’s earnings to decline in the first quarter from a year earlier.

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank Corp. has recorded lower earnings so far this year as mortgage originations and refinancings slowed.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. expects to soon name a new leader for its West Michigan market following the recent departure of former regional president Krista Flynn.



A Grand Rapids startup seeks to do for bicycling what Uber and Lyft have done for transportation or DoorDash, Instacart and similar ventures have done for food and retail delivery.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp.’s earnings declined in the first quarter from a year earlier as refinancing for home mortgages decreased and reduced fee income.

GRAND RAPIDS — Gun Lake Investments assumed full operating control through a new investment in Dallas, Texas-based Hall Technologies LLC, a designer and producer of professional audio/visual systems. 


A Traverse City-based credit union plans to enter the West Michigan market with the planned opening of three branches in Holland, Zeeland and Muskegon, along with several more in the years ahead.

After an active dealmaking year in 2021 that was fueled by private equity, the M&A outlook for 2022 is slightly more clouded as inflation grows to 40-year highs, the Federal Reserve begins bumping up interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupts financial markets.

The Federal Reserve last week began the first of what’s expected to be several quarter-point interest rate increases to help curb inflation that’s running at a 40-year high.


The Federal Reserve made the first of what’s expected to become multiple interest rate increases this year.

Michigan’s business tax climate ranks comparatively well to other states, and business advocates say election-year tax cuts proposed in Lansing could further improve that standing.

A Q&A with Nathan Owen, general partner at Grand Ventures LLC


Economists at PNC Bank and Comerica Inc. both expect the Federal Open Market Committee to begin raising interest rates next week.

West Michigan accounting firms Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors P.C. and Ferris, Busscher & Zwiers P.C. plan to merge May 1.

MillerKnoll Inc., Bell’s Brewery Inc. and Huntington Bank were among the top award-winning deals in this year’s MiBiz M&A Deals and Dealmaker Awards.


$500,000 investment from a venture capital fund supporting companies operated by minorities and people of color will help advance Anthony Chang’s vision for a network of advanced cancer treatment clinics across the U.S.

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank Corp.’s earnings declined in the final three months of 2021 but grew overall for the year.

HOLLAND — Macatawa Bank Corp. recorded lower fourth quarter earnings that partly resulted from reduced fee income as fewer federal Paycheck Protection Program loans were forgiven.


A new Southern California sports and entertainment venue will take its namesake from a Grand Rapids-based insurance broker and financial technology firm.

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. recorded higher earnings for 2021, benefitting from mergers that the bank completed in 2019 and 2020.

Grand Rapids accounting firm Beene Garter LLP has merged into Troy-based Doeren Mayhew.


GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. recorded strong earnings in 2021 with loan growth that President and CEO Robert Kaminski Jr. called “nothing short of stellar.”

If it’s money that matters most when people look for work or to relocate for a new job, then West Michigan may be at a disadvantage in competing for the coveted talent needed to drive economic growth.

HASTINGS — Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. President and CEO Joseph Babiak plans to retire on March 31.


GRAND RAPIDS — Insurance and employee benefits agency Lighthouse Group has acquired Gales Agency from Shelby State Bank.

Gun Lake Investments started 2022 with a permanent CEO in place and plans to become more active in the market.

Jerry VanderLugt sees Wall Street with further volatility in 2022. The founder and principal of JVL Wealth Strategies LLC, which recently moved to a new office in Wyoming, VanderLugt spoke with MiBiz about the market in the new year, the prospect of rising interest rates and higher inflation, and where investors are looking to put their money these days.


KALAMAZOO — The chief executive officer at Consumers Credit Union plans to retire in mid-2022 after 38 years.

Michigan’s economy and jobs are expected to continue to recover in 2022 from the deep downturn last year resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest coronavirus variant to emerge in a nearly two-year pandemic creates further uncertainty for the U.S. economy in 2022, although economists generally expect continued strong growth.


The new year could bring a continued acceleration of M&A in the banking industry.

Auxo Investment Partners reached further into the rail industry with the acquisition of Ferrovia Services LLC, an Auburn, Ala.-based railroad vegetation management company.

Fox Motors has gained a foothold in the metro Detroit market by acquiring two longtime Farmington Hills-based dealerships.


Employers competing for talent in a tough labor market across the region used larger pay raises in 2021 than in previous years, according to an annual wage and salary survey. 

Hiring a new business development director who’s based in Grand Rapids is part of Michigan Women Forward’s goal to build a larger West Michigan market presence for business lending and support for female-owned businesses and entrepreneurs of color.

GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan Capital Network has further expanded its angel investment network across the state with the addition of Saginaw-based BlueWater Angels.


GRAND RAPIDS — Regional economic development organization The Right Place Inc. recently announced new partnerships that would bring its services and expertise to Mason and Mecosta counties in West Michigan.

DETROIT — Vertically integrated cannabis company Gage Growth Corp. has secured a $55 million senior secured term loan to support retail acquisitions in Michigan and provide working capital.

Individuals investing in Michigan-based businesses could seek a credit on the state’s income tax under legislation proposed in Lansing.