Finance

SPONSORED BY CHEMICAL BANK

The insurance industry in Michigan grew by double digits over a 13-year period and remains poised to grow even more with the cluster of talent based in the state. Those were among the conclusions in a new report that for the first time offers a broad look at the state’s insurance industry, which in 2018 accounted for 4.6 percent of Michigan’s gross domestic output, directly employed more than 80,000 people, and supported another 58,000 jobs indirectly through the purchase of goods and services.

Genesis Innovation Group LLC and its affiliated venture capital funds invested in HAPPE Spine LLC, a Grand Rapids startup developing and commercializing a material for orthopedic implants.

Red Cedar Investment Management LLC has relocated to Grand Rapids after landing a veteran investment team that has ambitious growth plans for the firm.

The second-generation family-owned MultiState Insurance Center Inc. agency has signed a definitive agreement to sell to a Texas-based independent life insurance and health insurance firm.

Some business exits go smoothly; others, not so much. The key for business owners approaching the time when they’re poised to move on is to plan early and often, and to thoroughly think through their approach to the process.

Life happens. So does death. Professional advisers say business owners need to prepare for what happens to their companies in the event they’re taken out of commission by a sudden life-changing event — such as an illness or injury that leaves them incapacitated or debilitated, or worse. Even if an owner experiences a personal crisis that takes him away from the business for an extended period, it can have crushing effects on the company, especially without prior planning, advisers say.

Jennifer Orme applied to be the human resources director for the city of Holland after hearing about the job on Facebook. The city’s next request took her by surprise: They asked her to send in a hard copy of her resume.

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.’s proposed $89 million merger with a similarly sized community bank in Lapeer began last summer when Kelly Potes struck up a conversation with his counterparts.

Craig Hecker had thought about his eventual departure from his family business for a decade or more. A few years before he sold, he began preparing. He spent time “making sure everything was up to date and in good shape,” and even paid off the company’s debt.

Sparta-based ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. plans to merge with Lapeer-based County Bank Corp. in a deal that would create a bank with a combined $1.28 billion in assets.

GRAND RAPIDS — A capital fund providing commercial real estate bridge loans raised more than $11 million from investors in its first few months and closed on transactions with three borrowers. Red Oak Capital GP LLC of Grand Rapids continues to close monthly on investments from new investors en route to a goal of raising $50 million through a bond offering by the end of 2019, with two six-month extensions if needed. The capital raised goes to a national fund that provides senior lines of credit for commercial real estate deals that do not yet qualify for bank financing.

GRAND RAPIDS — Nearly a year after closing on the acquisition of a community bank on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Lake Michigan Credit Union could extend its footprint further in the Sunshine State. By following members who are migrating south for the warmer climate in retirement, the Grand Rapids-based Lake Michigan Credit Union is presently looking at other community banks in Florida, said President and CEO Sandra Jelinski.

A Mid Michigan medical marijuana company plans to expand after raising more than $30 million in capital.

Grand Angels’ formation of an affiliate investment group in Detroit brings more capital and investors into the field to support startup companies in Michigan. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Steady growth led Mercantile Bank Corp. to proceed with an addition at its corporate headquarters. Rising on the south side of the headquarters building at Leonard Street and U.S. 131 in Grand Rapids, the three-story, 25,000-square-foot addition will enable Mercantile Bank to bring together commercial banking teams and support staff — lenders, treasury and credit analysts — at one location.

The proposed $3.6 billion merger between Chemical Financial Corp. and TCF Financial Corp. would create a Midwest bank based in Michigan that’s able to compete with the largest national banks and that’s likely to pursue further acquisitions. Under the $3.6 billion all-stock deal, the Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial (NYSE: TCF) would merge into the Detroit-based Chemical Financial (Nasdaq: CHFC). Once the deal closes, Chemical Bank locations would take on the TCF name.

HOLLAND — The $6.7 million that ITB Packaging LLC raised from private investors will go to support developing new production equipment and expanding into markets outside of the U.S. In the years ahead, the company aims to accelerate growth, penetrate new product markets such as consumer goods, electronics and the beverage industry, and establish production for overseas customers in Mexico and Europe. The first step is to complete in-house development on the next generation of automated production equipment to produce the packaging dividers.

Acrisure LLC capped off its most active year for M&A with the acquisition of Milwaukee, Wis.-based HNI Risk Services at the end of 2018.

Independent Bank Corp. this week reported net income of $9.9 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2018. 

Chemical Financial Corp. would extend further across the Midwest with the proposed merger with Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial Corp.

Macatawa Bank Corp. nearly tripled earnings for the fourth quarter.

ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. posted record earnings for the fourth quarter.

Former Herman Miller Inc. President and CEO Brian Walker joined Detroit-based private equity firm Huron Capital as a partner in charge of strategic leadership for portfolio companies.

Mercantile Bank Corp. recorded strong earnings and loan growth to end 2018, a trend executives expect should continue into 2019.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Jan. 21, 2019.

Insurance broker First Agency Inc. has sold to Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

The $8 million in capital West Michigan Community Bank just raised will go to support further growth and perhaps develop another branch location in the Grand Rapids area.

Professionals expect a vibrant M&A market and strong deal flow this year amid easing U.S. economic growth and rising interest rates.

small private equity firm started in Southern Michigan plans to invest in a niche area most investors ignore. In targeting small manufacturers in small towns and other rural markets across the state, Parma-based Fresh Water Ventures Fund LP seeks to acquire small businesses and maintain operations in their hometowns.

M&A professionals expect the dealmaking market to remain healthy in 2019. That’s one of the conclusions from a panel of executives MiBiz assembled to talk about West Michigan’s mergers and acquisitions sector.

CALEDONIA — In the more than five years since Greg Williams founded the company, Acrisure LLC has become the most prolific acquirer of independent insurance agencies in the U.S.

Interest rates likely will rise again in 2019. How much and how often remains the question following the latest quarter-point increase in the federal funds rate last week by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which for two years has been raising interest rates from historic lows reached a decade ago during the Great Recession.

Volatility came back to the stock market in 2018 and Todd Harvey doesn’t see it going away in 2019. The director of Fifth Third Private Bank since 2012 and a wealth management professional for 16 years, Harvey believes the market next year will have to cope with rising interest rates amid a U.S. economy that will continue growing, although at a slower rate.

Bank of America’s West Michigan operations had a record year in 2018 in terms of the number of new business clients. The year came on top of similar results in 2017, when the bank consolidated local operations into a single office in downtown Grand Rapids, a move that better organized and generated greater collaboration among staff in pursuing new business. Echoing the sentiment of other local executives, Tabben said business clients are working to cope with the region’s tight labor market. 

Krista Flynn joined Chemical Bank in July as regional president for West Michigan, leading a market that includes Grand Rapids and Holland. She previously spent seven years in corporate banking at PNC Bank and 15 years at JPMorgan before going to work at Chemical, the largest bank based in Michigan. Chemical Bank, with more than $20.9 billion in total assets, has been building its commercial banking and wealth management staff, and is presently building out a new regional headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids. Parent company Chemical Financial Corp. also plans to develop a new corporate headquarters in downtown Detroit.

Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union surpassed a key milestone when it hit $1 billion in assets back in May 2018. By the end of the third quarter, the 92,000-member credit union had grown assets further to $1.07 billion, and President and CEO Kit Snyder expects assets to close the year at $1.1 billion. The growth during 2018 came as Consumers Credit Union settled into a new headquarters in The Groves Engineering Business Technology Park in Kalamazoo.

GRAND RAPIDS — A new office in suburban Detroit gives Blackford Capital a market presence to scout for deals in the heart of the auto industry and center for American manufacturing. 

PARCHMENT — Advia Credit Union would gain a larger market presence in northern Illinois with the proposed acquisition of Golden Eagle Community Bank.

Michigan will maintain job growth through 2019, although at a slower rate than the past several years as employers have fewer people to hire.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Nov. 12, 2018.

GRAND RAPIDS — A lukewarm initial public stock offering by drinkware and cooler-maker Yeti Holdings Inc. spelled a smaller-than-expected payout for a prominent West Michigan family office. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Even when it first acquired Dickinson Press LLC more than three years ago, Blackford Capital saw Brainerd, Minn.-based CJK Group Inc. as a potential buyer.

Seven credit unions in Michigan plans to open a new trust bank late in the first quarter of 2019 after receiving approval from state regulators.

 

MiBiz, in conjunction with the Association for Corporate Growth of Western Michigan, highlighted the winners and finalists of the 2018 M&A Deals and Dealmakers of the Year Awards on Oct. 28 at the Gerald  R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. 

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Oct. 29, 2018.

An already strong M&A market could get even more competitive in 2019, driven by a good U.S. economy and plenty of available capital.

The spring acquisition of TCSB Bancorp Inc. in Traverse City, combined with strong loan growth, drove earnings higher for Independent Bank Corp. in the third quarter.

Macatawa Bank Corp. grew earnings more than 40 percent in the third quarter.