GRAND RAPIDS — Three years after opening a local lending office, Horizon Bank plans to begin developing a branch network in the Grand Rapids market.
The Michigan City, Ind.-based Horizon Bank, which has 13 offices in Michigan, recently hired veteran commercial banker David Quade as its Grand Rapids market president and plans to open at least three local offices, and perhaps more, within five years.
The first full-service office should open in early 2017 at an as-yet-undisclosed location in downtown Grand Rapids, Quade said. Horizon Bank primarily will look around Grand Rapids for additional branch locations that will come as business dictates, he said.
“If you have them in the right strategic location and you have the right focus, you can leverage technology and get a pretty strong presence,” Quade said. “It’s going to depend on basically the opportunities and the locations. Going from downtown, we can go in any direction.”
Quade previously spent 18 years at Chemical Bank and served as Grand Rapids regional president since 2007. He started when Chemical had assets of about $3 billion and worked there as it grew through a series of acquisitions to nearly $18 billion in assets today.
The position at Horizon Bank presented an opportunity for Quade to work once again to establish and grow a bank’s position in the market, he said.
“It was an opportunity to build something. It’s just very rewarding to start from scratch and build your team and build your market base,” said Quade, who’s in the process of hiring 15 people to staff the new branch. “I don’t think those opportunities come up very often.”
Creating a branch network in Grand Rapids would fill in the gap between Horizon Bank’s offices in Southwest Michigan and Lansing, where it acquired the former Summit Community Bank in 2014.
Horizon Bank executives have long considered Grand Rapids as a market they wanted enter, Quade said.
“They view Grand Rapids as the best market to be in,” he said. “Their foundation is in a lot of rural Indiana (markets), so coming to a vibrant market like West Michigan that’s growing provides a lot of opportunity for them to find some growth.”
Horizon Bank isn’t alone in that view, as other banks have entered the market in the last year, attracted by Grand Rapids’ growth and economic strength.
Farmington Hills-based Level One Bank moved into the market last month with the opening of a branch on Burton Street on Grand Rapids’ southeast side and plans to open more in the years ahead. Earlier this year, a trio of community banks — Sparta-based ChoiceOne Bank, Commercial Bank of Ithaca, and St. Louis, Mo.-based Commerce Bank — opened lending offices in town.
Horizon Bank has 57 offices in Indiana and Michigan with totals assets as of Sept. 30 of $3.32 billion and deposits totaling $2.34 billion. In Michigan, the bank had total deposits of $374.3 million as of midyear, according to the FDIC’s 2016 Summary of Deposits.
The bank targets small businesses and lower middle market companies for commercial lending and has an in-house lending cap of $20 million. Horizon also does a “fair amount” of agricultural lending, according to Quade.
The planned opening of a full-service branch downtown comes with piloting private banking in Grand Rapids, a service that Horizon has offered only in the Indianapolis market to date.
“It seems like the ideal market to provide that service,” Quade said.
Horizon Bank could also look to acquisitions as a way to expand its West Michigan presence. Since mid-2015, parent company Horizon Bancorp Inc. has closed on three deals for smaller banks in Indiana.