Finance

SPONSORED BY CHEMICAL BANK

EAST LANSING — A new venture capital firm formed by Michigan State University’s research foundation targets a critical need for early-stage capital for startups in the state.

Fifth Third Bank’s $30 billion corporate commitment over the next four years for community development offers a massive pool of money for West Michigan organizations to potentially tap to fund projects and initiatives.

M&A professionals in Michigan feel a little more optimistic than their counterparts nationally about the prospects for stronger deal flow over the next year.

Of all the issues Greg Carmichael deals with each day, trust and reputation are the ones that concern him the most.

Kalamazoo-based First National Bank of Michigan plans to open a Holland office five years after moving into the Grand Rapids market.

trio of initiatives from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. aims to increase the flow of capital to startups and early-stage companies in the state.

The restoration of an angel tax credit in Michigan looks doubtful before the present legislative term expires at the end of the year.

Chris Mason and his partners wanted to use a local lender when they sought a loan to start their business in Stevensville, just north of the Indiana border in Berrien County. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Software development firm Blue Medora LLC raised nearly $7.5 million in capital in what one expert calls a “tough” but “good” environment for companies seeking investors.

GRAND RAPIDS — A strong marketplace combined with recent consolidation involving community banks lured Level One Bank from its base in suburban Detroit to the Grand Rapids market.

MIDLAND — As Chemical Financial Corp. moves toward closing its latest and largest acquisition, David Ramaker remains open to additional deals that would further expand the bank’s footprint in the Midwest.

GRAND RAPIDS — The recently announced leadership transition at Mercantile Bank Corp. has been in the works for years and should provide continuity going from one CEO to another, executives say.

GRAND RAPIDS — When he retired from Fifth Third Bank at the end of 2015, David Dams told his colleagues that he “was looking for that next new venture or adventure.”

The trade group for venture capitalists in Michigan wants to form a $100 million fund to match millions in private capital with public investment. 

Michigan needs to maintain a major push started a decade ago to diversify the state’s economy, according to a study that credits the effort with spurring greater innovation and entrepreneurship.

Bankers say they hear it regularly from their clients: It’s gotten awfully hard to find good talent these days.

Two large bank mergers affecting the Michigan market are progressing, with one securing shareholder approval and another awaiting a vote in the coming weeks.

Michigan’s largest agricultural lender views a $25,000 sponsorship and in-kind support pledged to Ottawa County’s Great Lakes Ag-Tech Incubator as a key part of its business.

Credit unions across Michigan have enjoyed strong growth in recent years.

state lawmaker wants to restore an angel investment tax credit in Michigan as a way to create a larger pool of prospective investors in startup companies.

Updates to a Michigan law now allow credit unions to branch into new services while streamlining their state regulatory burden.

State revenue from taxes paid by small businesses more than doubled as Michigan’s economy improved coming out of the Great Recession and as the overall business tax burden in the state declined.

KALAMAZOO — Life sciences startup Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC of Kalamazoo netted $1.4 million so far in a push to raise up to $7 million in Series B capital. 

The opening of equity-based crowdfunding in the U.S. provides a new option for entrepreneurs to raise money from individuals who want to invest but don’t meet the definition of an accredited investor.

HOLLAND — Macatawa Bank Corp. sits in a far better position today than it did in the recent past.

GRAND RAPIDS — Commerce Bank has moved into West Michigan, seeking to carve out a role in the middle market.

When Mike Price and his colleagues formed Mercantile Bank Corp. nearly 20 years, they faced a vastly different landscape versus what exists today.

Venture capital firms in Michigan do better than their counterparts nationally, but women and minorities still account for a small number of investment professionals who work in the industry and the entrepreneurs it supports.

After operating for years in rural communities to the north, ChoiceOne Bank wants to carve out a position in downtown Grand Rapids.

PARCHMENT — Advia Credit Union’s proposed acquisition of Mid America Bank, a small community bank in southern Wisconsin, is the kind of deal that occurs infrequently in the financial services industry.

Acrisure LLC bought the most insurance agencies in the U.S. and Canada last year, easily outpacing the number of deals by other acquirers in a consolidating industry.

As the service sector rises, Julie Weeks says don’t forget manufacturing.

As private equity deal flow across the U.S. remained strong in 2015, Huron Capital Partners stayed as busy as ever.

An investment firm that serves RDV Corp., the family office for Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, has formed a $130 million private equity fund.

Many credit unions recorded 2015 loan growth in the double digits, said Kenley Penner, a partner and the head of Plante Moran PLLC’s credit union practice. Penner attributes the results and lending growth to a “relatively strong” housing market that’s driving mortgage originations, coupled with strong sales volumes for both new and used vehicles.

Elevated by a couple of major investments, venture capital investing in Michigan life sciences companies in 2015 equaled the dollar value from the prior year with a high number of deals.

A pair of deals would give Chemical Financial Corp. and Huntington Bancshares Inc. larger footprints in Michigan and could renew the momentum for bank M&A in the state.

Here is a round-up of quarterly and annual performance filings from banks in West Michigan.

By all accounts, 2016 should shape up as another strong year, particularly as banks compete for deals and private equity firms still have plenty of dry powder to deploy. Also bolstering the current market, at least for sellers: Corporate balance sheets remain healthy, and valuations should continue to hold steady at their current elevated levels.

2015 was a record year for mergers and acquisitions. While experts predict 2016 will be another strong year for M&A activity, they also note subtle shifts in the business and economic landscape that could mark the beginning of the end for the current M&A boom.

Chairman and CEO Mike Price told investors that the Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank (Nasdaq: MBWM) remains open to M&A, and even a transaction similar to the $151.5 million “merger of equals” it completed in July 2014 with the former Firstbank Corp.

If you want to sell your business this year, you still have a pretty good chance of cutting a favorable deal as the seller’s market continues.

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