Finance

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GRAND RAPIDS — Investor relations and public relations firm Lambert & Co. has expanded into the Southwest U.S. with the hiring and acquisition of a team of professionals based in Phoenix, Ariz.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Angels launched a new affiliate in Flint, further expanding its presence across Michigan.

Trade tariffs and the direction of the economy, coupled with concerns about the 2020 U.S. presidential election, weighed down expectations for mergers and acquisitions next year.

Business owners surveyed by PNC Bank remain optimistic about the local and national economies, despite worries about tariffs and pricing pressures and outlooks for slower growth ahead.

GRAND RAPIDS — Muskegon-based Conn Geneva & Robinson CPA and Consultants PC has merged with Grand Rapids-based accounting firm Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors LLC.

SPARTA — Higher expenses mostly related to the Oct. 1 merger with County Bank Corp. cut into third quarter earnings for ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.

A $500,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank will enable Northern Initiatives to put a larger focus on diversifying its lending.

Independent Bank Corp. reported higher income for the third quarter of $12.4 million, or 55 cents per diluted share.

Macatawa Bank Corp. grew earnings nearly 20 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Ventures led an investment round in CRE Simple Inc., an Oakland, Calif.-based fintech firm focused on commercial real estate.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. maintained solid growth and earnings through the third quarter.

KALAMAZOO — A Grand Rapids mezzanine fund’s investment will enable Keystone Solutions Group to maintain its strong growth trajectory in the years ahead.

Investors initially wanted to up their ante and take their stake in Caledonia-based Acrisure LLC to several times their existing holdings.

Raising $25 million in capital and acquiring a mortgage company positioned Northpointe Bank for even more growth in the years ahead.

GRAND RAPIDS — Red Oak Capital Group LLC plans to raise another $50 million through a public bond offering for a third fund to offer bridge loans for commercial real estate.

Even if the U.S. Senate were to pass a bill to make it easier for banks and credit unions to serve the emerging cannabis industry, questions remain over just how many financial institutions will act quickly on the opportunity.

Charter Growth Capital Fund, a mezzanine fund formed this past summer by Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners, made its first deal with an investment in Keystone Solutions Group.

GRAND RAPIDS — Greatland Corp., a provider of W-2, 1099 and 1095 solutions, has acquired JAT Software Inc. of Bridgewater Township, N.J.

GRAND RAPIDS — Venture capital fund Grand Ventures has closed on $28 million that was raised for its first fund.

CALEDONIA — Acrisure LLC has launched a joint venture to sell insurance coverage directly to consumers through a digital platform backed by artificial intelligence.

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. remains open to further acquisitions after the $89 million deal with Lapeer-based County Bank Corp. is completed next year.

The purchase of Ottawa Kent Insurance Agency Inc. comes as a Traverse City-based agency platform backed by private equity investors pursues a Midwest acquisition strategy.

PORTAGE — Kenneth Leonard and Ryan Reffitt originally set out to provide small banks and credit unions across Michigan with underwriting and other support services for writing business loans.

A subsidiary of RDV Corp., the family office for the DeVos family, has acquired a stake in Swedish-based private equity firm Nordic Capital.

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.’s merger with Lapeer-based County Bank Corp. easily earned shareholder approvals this morning and now heads to a close next spring.

JENISON — Ottawa Kent Insurance Agency Inc. was acquired by Traverse City-based High Street Insurance Partners Inc., an insurance agency platform formed last year by Huron Capital Partners LLC, a Detroit-based private equity firm.

Here is the revised text of the “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” issued by the Business Roundtable on Aug. 19:

As U.S. economic growth slows, so too does Michigan’s economy.

Steelcase Inc. President and CEO James Keane was among the 181 chief executives in the U.S. that signed the Business Roundtable’s “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.” He offered his perspective on the document in emailed responses to MiBiz.

The latest version of the Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation is intriguing, according to Tim Syfert, a clinical professor of business at Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business.

The Business Roundtable, an organization of leading U.S. corporate executives, last month issued a new version of its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. 

Grand Ventures I LP’s lead investment in a Chicago digital health company typifies what’s occurring in venture capital in Michigan and neighboring states: Funds based in the region are backing Great Lakes-based startups.

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.