Finance

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WYOMING — My Personal Credit Union of Wyoming changed its name to Bloom Credit Union.

The legalization of cannabis in Michigan offers an emerging economic sector for banks and credit unions, but only if Congress enacts legislation to change existing federal law and allow them into the market.

GRAND RAPIDS — Brandon Kanitz walks through a cavernous area of a former auto-parts manufacturing plant, pointing out areas that in the months ahead will become growing rooms for marijuana plants.

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP — Grand River Bank plans to open a new office on the east side of Grand Rapids by the middle of next year.

Kalamazoo area-based Consumers Credit Union recently began construction on a new branch on 54th Street SW in Wyoming, its sixth office in the Grand Rapids area.

ALLEGAN — Perrigo Co. plc reaffirmed its 2019 earnings guidance and reported a slight decline in net sales resulting from unfavorable currency translations and exited businesses.

TRAVERSE CITY — Markel Corp., the Richmond, Va.-based holding company for various insurance, reinsurance, and investment operations, has acquired a minority stake in The Hagerty Group LLC, a Traverse City-based insurer of classic cars and high-end automobiles.

GRAND RAPIDS — A new mezzanine fund based in Grand Rapids seeks to raise $100 million to invest in growing companies, MiBiz has learned.

As one bank merger affecting the West Michigan marketplace focuses on integration, another much smaller deal heads toward shareholder votes next month.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Aug. 5, 2019:

GRAND RAPIDS — After closing on fundraising for one real estate investment fund for bridge loans, Red Oak Capital Group has begun preparing for another.

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp. raised its sales and earnings guidance for 2019 after what President and CEO Kevin Lobo called a “robust” second quarter.

Michigan retailers reported a dip in sales during June, although they remain optimistic that business will pick up over the next few months, according to a monthly index released last week.

GRANDVILLE — Shares of Grand River Commerce Inc., the parent company of Grand River Bank, began trading today on a financial market operated by OTC Markets Group Inc.

HOLLAND — Macatawa Bank Corp. grew earnings by nearly 20 percent in the second quarter, maintaining the company’s strong financial performance.

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank Corp. recorded higher net income for the second quarter with double-digit loan growth.

SPARTA — Costs from a proposed merger cut into ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.’s quarterly earnings.

GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan Community Bank plans to open a new regional office in Grand Rapids Township.

KALAMAZOO — When Anna Rath signed on as CEO of Vestaron Corp. 15 months ago, the company was preparing to transition from a focus on R&D to commercializing a line of new environmentally friendly insecticides. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Joe Manica’s first job at United Bank was building shelves in the basement as a teenager.

Chemical Financial Corp.’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial Corp. heads to a close Aug. 1 after receiving final federal regulatory approval.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. today reported strong results for the second quarter, setting up the second half of 2019 for continued growth.

GRAND RAPIDS — Joe Manica took over this month as president and CEO at United Bank.

KALAMAZOO — SalesPage Technologies LLC acquired Advisor Atlas, a data provider to asset management and financial services firms.

Here is the growth report for July 8, 2019:

Initially seeded with state money seven years ago to provide financing to growing Michigan-based businesses, Grow Michigan LLC expects to begin seeking investors for a second fund totaling nearly $60 million.

After issuing a steady string of interest rate increases over the last three years, the Federal Reserve could start lowering rates again in the coming months in a move to keep the economy growing, making borrowing a little cheaper for businesses.

Commercial bankers say clients’ demand for credit remains strong, although borrowers in West Michigan are carefully watching what’s ahead for the economy.

GRAND RAPIDS — Securing a top rating for financial stability could boost business for a West Michigan company that underwrites product liability insurance coverage for the cannabis industry.

PORTAGE — Auto insurer State Farm plans to eliminate 247 jobs in Kalamazoo County with the planned closing of an operations center by Aug. 31.

The idea sounds simple: Create a $150 million to $200 million fund supported by foundations and university endowments to back venture capital investors in the Great Lakes states.

Here is the growth report for June 24, 2019.

Kalamazoo-based Vestaron Corp. plans to use $40 million in new capital to expand commercialization and accelerate the development of an additional line of environmentally friendly pesticides. 

Here is the growth report for June 10, 2019.

GRAND RAPIDS — When advisers begin to prepare a business for a transition and sale, they also need to prepare the entrepreneur for what’s next.

GREENVILLE — Edgewater Bancorp Inc. opened a loan office in Greenville after hiring a veteran commercial lender.

Northpointe Bancshare Inc. raised $25 million in capital through a private placement of common stock with Castle Creek Capital LLC, a private equity firm based in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., north of San Diego.

MUSKEGON — As angel investing maintains a growth trajectory in Michigan, Muskegon Angels LLC pivoted this year to keep investments close to home. The Muskegon angel group now looks to invest in local companies that need capital or financing. Muskegon Angels will continue to invest in startups, as long they’re based in Muskegon or in a neighboring county.

Federal legislation could remove a big barrier for fledgling cannabis businesses by allowing the nation’s banks to legally serve the industry. Even as more than 30 states have legalized medical marijuana and 10 now allow its recreational use — including Michigan, on both counts — marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Jeff Korzenik became interested in how businesses can successfully hire ex-offenders “almost by accident.” He credits sending his children to public magnet schools in Chicago with opening his eyes to the challenges different groups of people face. 

EAST LANSING — With a new investment fund at Michigan State University, students can gain experience on either side of the venture capital industry. The Student Venture Capital Fund offers students with an idea for a business or an innovation “priceless” experience in seeking capital and pitching to prospective investors, said Jeff Wesley, the executive director of Red Cedar Ventures at MSU.

Rose Street Advisors LLC of Kalamazoo has acquired HRM Innovations LLC, a human resources consulting and training firm.

South Bend, Ind.-based Teachers Credit Union plans to acquire New Bancorp Inc., the parent company of New Buffalo Savings Bank.

As Michigan’s venture capital industry made further gains in 2018, it made some progress on one front that’s been the focus of attention the last few years: Diversity. Statistics tucked into the Michigan Venture Capital Association’s 2019 research report show an uptick over five years in investments into startups companies led by women and minorities.

The amount of venture capital invested in the Midwest grew at a compound annual rate of 17 percent from 2013 to 2018, the third highest in the U.S., behind the West Coast at 28 percent and the Mid-Atlantic region at 22 percent. The growth rate was one of the reasons the National Venture Capital Association and the University of California Berkeley chose Ann Arbor as the place to launch a new education program, VC University LIVE, on May 15-17 at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

WALKER — Seven years after buying Custom Profile Inc., Blackford Capital Inc. was ready for an exit. In seeking to sell the company, the Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital evaluated a variety of options. Those options included finding a strategic buyer, a deal with another private equity firm, or selling to Custom Profile’s management and employees under an employee stock ownership plan.

Macatawa Bank Corp. recorded strong earnings growth for the first three months of 2019.

Merger-related expenses flattened quarterly earnings for ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.