| Follow Us:

Finance : Innovation & Job News

113 Finance Articles | Page: | Show All

Clarkston State Bank grows off increased commercial lending

The financial crisis wasn't a crisis for everyone. For Clarkston State Bank it was an opportunity.

The Clarkston-based bank filled in the vacuum of commercial lending in recent years while larger banks ran scared from the sector. That has allowed the local bank to grow its bottom line and a few other things.

"We've been a very active lender, specifically commercial lending," says Grant Smith, president & CEO of Clarkston State Bank. "It's why we have been hiring a few people this year."

The 15-year-old community bank has hired three people over the last year, including a vice president of credit administration and a treasurer. It now employs a staff of 44 people among four branches in Clarkston, Waterford, and Independence Township. It is currently building a replacement branch near McLaren Hospital.

Clarkston State Bank has watched its revenue grow by 20-30 percent for each of the last few years. Its net income is up 20 percent while retail deposits are up $15 million. The bank also booked $30 million in new lending last year while it reviewed nearly $60 million in deals during that time. It hopes to add a few million more in lending this year.

"That's quite a bit for a small bank," Smith says.

Source: Grant Smith, president & CEO of Clarkston State Bank
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Telemus Capital makes transition to national financial management firm

Telemus Capital is working to turn itself into a national financial management firm, and it’s making a few key hires to pull that off.

The Southfield-based company recently hired Lloyd A. Perlmutter as the firm’s new COO. Perlmutter previously served for seven years as president of Gap, Inc. in Canada. The executive team at Telemus Capital created the COO role for Perlmutter so the experienced manager can oversee the firm's day-to-day management and execution of its strategic initiatives.

"We're evolving it from running it like a practice to running it like a business," Perlmutter says. "We want to make it to the $10 billion mark. It's going to need some more full-time managers doing what they do best."

For Telemus Capital that means letting the firm's partners focus on growing the clientele of high-net-worth individuals and expanding the firm's assets under management. The strategy is paying off. Assets under management are up 25 percent over the last year.

"We need someone to run the day-to-day of the business," says Lyle Wolberg, managing partner of Telemus Capital.

Telemus Capital has offices in Ann Arbor and Los Angeles. The latter is a result of Telemus Capital's acquistion of Concentratic Capital in Los Angeles earlier this year. The firm has hired six people over the last year, expanding its headcount to 38 people. It is currently looking to hire a director of marketing and communications and a high-potential advisor.

Source: Lloyd A. Perlmutter, COO of Telemus Capital, and Lyle Wolberg, managing partner of Telemus Capital
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Dynamic Wealth Solutions opens in downtown Farmington

A couple of lifelong friends are opening up a registered investment advisory firm, Dynamic Wealth Solutions, in downtown Farmington this week.

Timothy Hooker and Brian Smith have been friends since their days of playing hockey in high school. The two friends participated in Wayne State University's Blackstone LaunchPad program, which gives students the basics to start a business. The pair were looking at opening a branch of a major investment advisory firm and then had second thoughts.

"We decided we could do something better ourselves and went forward as an independent firm," Hooker says.

That became Dynamic Wealth Solutions, which is opening in the historic Enterprise building at 23623 Farmington Road. The pair received $3,000 in seed capital last fall from the Blackstone LaunchPad’s Warrior Fund. That money went to pay for licensing fees for the firm and computers for the co-founders.

"It (Blackstone LaunchPad) provided us with the support and mentoring that we built our network with," Hooker says.

Hooker and Smith plan to spend their first year in business building a client base and establishing the firm. They hope to one day expand it to other Metro Detroit locations.

Source: Timothy Hooker, partner & managing member of Dynamic Wealth Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Lotus Bank eyes 20% growth, plans to open new branch

Lotus Bank has its eyes on opening a new branch in Metro Detroit over the next year as it works to keep up with its recent growth.

It will be the third branch for the Novi-based bank, which also has branches in Novi and Farmington Hills. The location hasn’t been selected yet but is expected to become a reality in 2015. That would allow the 7-year-old financial institution to keep up with the growth it's been experiencing in recent years.

"2013 was an exceptional year for the bank," says Neal Searle, president & CEO of Lotus Bank. "We grew about 20 percent. We also surpassed $100 million in assets in April."

Lotus Bank is 80-percent owned by Indian-Americans and primarily serves that community in Metro Detroit. It grew by about 20 percent over the last year and is on track to repeat that number in 2014. Accordingly,  the bank has hired three people, including a credit administrator and client service professionals. It has a staff of 20 employees and one intern, and is looking to hire a commercial lender right now.

Searle points out that Lotus Bank's growth is entirely organic. He credits traditional community banking practices that stress customer service as the fuel for the bank's growth. It's why he is bullish on the bank’s expansion plans and hiring prospects.

"We intend to continue to grow our staff as the market demands," Searle says.

Source: Neal Searle, president & CEO of Lotus Bank
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Level One Bank hires 18, grows assets 25 percent

Level One Bank is well on its way to the next level, thanks to a spike in its asset size and staff.

The Farmington Hills-based bank’s assets have grown 25 percent over the last year, topping out at $630 million. Its deposits also stand at $545 million. That has allowed the company to grow its staff to 145 people at its seven branches across the region. It has hired 18 people over the last year, mostly in lending. The bank currently has four open positions.

"Our primary businesses are focused on commercial loans," says Patrick Fehring, president & CEO of Level One Bank. "We're seeing a lot of action in our loans to entrepreneurs. We're also seeing an increase in our residential mortgage loans."

Fehring expects his bank to grow another 15 percent this year. He sees Level One Bank's status as a local bank as a key ingredient to its success at a time when an increasing number of people don’t trust large financial institutions.

"We think that gives us a distinct competitive advantage," Fehring says. "It's easier to connect with a decision maker at Level One Bank."

Source: Patrick Fehring, president & CEO of Level One Bank
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

CitrinGroup investment firm adds 4 new consultants

CitrinGroup made a name for itself in its early years as an investment firm with a track record for sizable returns.

The 10-year-old firm realized there was a sizable number of financial firms that could do the same thing. If it wanted to continued its growth streak it would need to find a way to separate itself from the pack.

"It's been an exciting year," says Jonathan Citrin, chairman of CitrinGroup. "We have intensified our focus as a portfolio manager."

CitrinGroup’s advantage is divorcing emotion from its decision-making process. Sounds simple, right, or just industry standard? Not necessarily. Citrin points out his firm relies solely on numbers and seizing opportunity. No gut calls. No more sticking only to what they feel comfortable with.

"We have been super focused on keeping emotion out of decisions," Citrin says.

That has allowed the downtown Birmingham-based firm to make its returns more consistent and increase its new business. CitrinGroup has also grown its staff, adding four consultants to its core team of four employees.

"We were just creating a way to give our clients some added value," Citrin says.

Source: Jonathan Citrin, chairman of CitrinGroup
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Michigan First Credit Union aims to add 17 jobs

Michigan First Credit Union is in the process of hiring another 17 people right now, including a new spokester for its Young & Free Michigan program.

The Lathrup Village-based credit union currently employs 247 people across six stand-alone branches, plus three more in Meijer stores. It is replacing a branch on Gratiot Avenue, which is expected to open this fall. Michigan First Credit Union has hired 17 people over the last year. Its new positions range from IT professionals to branch operations. For information on those jobs, click here.

Among the new positions is the credit union’s spokester job for its Young & Free Michigan program. The 3-year-old program employs one college student for a year, making the person the credit union’s spokester. The spokester engages local college students through social media, community events, blog posts and online videos. The idea is to encourage smart financial behavior and help attract more young people to the credit union.

"The year goes by so fast," says Vicky Goldwater, young & free Michigan spokester for Michigan First Credit Union. She worked as a waitress and studied communications at Macomb Community College before taking the position. "The experience was awesome."

Michigan First Credit Union is taking applications for this year's spokester. The position comes with paid gas and insurance. Applicants are expected to make a video when applying. More info can be found here.

"Have fun with the video," Goldwater says. "Be yourself."

Michigan First Credit Union has about 94,300 members in Michigan, which is up more than 4,000 since the beginning of 2013. It has added $30 million in assets in the last year, totaling $674 million.

Source: Vicky Goldwater, young & free Michigan spokester for Michigan First Credit Union
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Telemus Capital adds 4 positions, $100M in new clients

Telemus Capital isn't trying to make its clients rich. It's trying to keep them wealthy. That’s part of the reason why the Southfield-based financial management firm has been growing so much in the past year.

The 9-year-old firm has watched its revenue increase by 20 percent over the last year. That’s due in part to strong performances from stock markets. It also is due to an infusion of new customers.

"Our new clients that have come to us have exceeded our expectations," says Lyle Wolberg, partner & senior adviser at Telemus Capital. "We have brought in $100 million in new clients to the firm in the last year."

Telemus Capital acquired Concentratic Capital in Los Angeles earlier this year. The new acquisition will serve as Telemus Capital’s new LA office. Telemus Capital has also hired four new people, including a new partner and a few research analysts.

"We have done quite a bit of hiring," Wolberg says.

Source: Lyle Wolberg, partner & senior adviser at Telemus Capital
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Complete Data Products makes 6 hires, expands customer base

Neal Doshi and his brother, Nyrav Doshi, purchased Complete Data Products two years ago with the idea of turning the software firm into something bigger. A few software product launches later, the Troy-based business is realizing that dream for its owners.

"From a numbers standpoint we expect our company to grow 20 percent, top-line, by the end of the year," Neal Doshi says.

Complete Data Products specializes in paperless document management software. If there is some sort of business function that requires using paper, Complete Data Products is coming up with ways to do it digitally.

For instance, the firm launched its financial receipt product last year, which allowed users to send sales receipts through email. It also recently launched an electronic signature application, and upgraded its financial receipt product to utilize text message technology.

"There were a lot of people who pushed that out," Neal Doshi says. "There was a lot of growth in that vertical."

The customer base of this technology has grown from credit unions to include banks and law firms. That has allowed Complete Data Products to hire six people, primarily in tech support and marketing, over the last year. It now employs 28 people.

Source: Neal Doshi, managing partner of Complete Data Products
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

DFCU Financial distributes $23M in dividends to members

For eight years running, DFCU Financial has paid out a dividend to its members. This year was no different, with $23 million in dividends making its way into the accounts of the Dearborn-based credit union’s membership.

"Of that $23 million we paid in January, 76 percent ($17.5 million) went to tri-county residents," says Mark Shobe, president & CEO of DFCU Financial. "I like to think of it as our own little stimulus program."

DFCU Financial members received an average of $250 each. Some of its clients received thousands of dollars while one received $18,000.

The 64-year-old credit union has grown exponentially in the last decade. It has gone from having three branches in Dearborn and Livonia to 24 offices across Michigan, including in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing. It opened a new office in Ann Arbor last year and plans to open another in Michigan later this year.

"We plan to deepen our coverage into these markets," Shobe says. "We will be opening new offices in these cities."

DFCU Financial currently employs 500 people and the occasional summer intern. It hired about 50 people for a broad range of positions over the last year.

Source: Mark Shobe, president & CEO of DFCU Financial
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

LoanMod builds TurboTax-like software to prevent foreclosure

The leadership at LoanMod.com thinks the process of helping people prevent home foreclosure is too complicated, to put it nicely.

That's why the Dearborn-based loan-modification firm, which has hired one person over the last year, is working on a software program that streamlines and simplifies the process so everyday people can keep their homes from the comfort of their homes. The platform, called LoanMD, aims to become the TurboTax of home foreclosure prevention.

"It makes an overwhelming task [break] down into simple steps," says James Cline, organizational architect for LoanMod.com.

The firm is currently working with Ann Arbor-based software firm Menlo Innovations to create a platform. Cline is helping spearhead the project, which he hopes to launch next year. It is currently going for a $250,000 grant from the Chase Mission Main Street program. You can vote for it to make the finals here.

"We're hoping to make the required technological investments and put the final touches on LoanMD," Cline says.

When it's launched, LoanMod.com expects to focus on the Michigan market first with an eye on making it a national product. "Our main focus is here in Michigan," Cline says.

Source: James Cline, organizational architect for LoanMod.com
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Joshua Tree Investments focuses on ethical investing

Josh Keagle has had a number of different jobs over the years. He has served in Iraq, been a middle-school teacher and worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In that time he noticed a number of investment professionals push products they had little knowledge of and were arguably not in their clients' best interests. He also noticed that a lot of people were supporting things with their investments that wouldn’t fit in with their moral code.

Not long after that he started Joshua Tree Investments, an financial investment advisory firm that helps people make ethical investments that maximize return. That could mean funds that specialize in sustainability or other investment vehicles that are socially conscious.

"Our purchases shape the world," Keagle says. "It's possible to responsibly prepare for retirement and think about how your decisions impact the planet."

The Troy-based company got its start a year ago and is now working with a broad range of individual clients. Keagle describes them as young and old, liberal and conservative and from all walks of life. He believes they all want to make the best decisions for the long-term.

Source: Josh Keagle, investment advisor & founder of Joshua Tree Investments
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Level One Bank expands mortgage team with 4 new hires

Level One Bank is expanding its mortgage team in Oakland County as the Farmington Hills-based bank looks to capture more of the local housing rebound.

The bank has added four new mortgage bankers to its Consumer Division. Those new hires will be stationed in both Bloomfield Township and in the bank’s Farmington Hills headquarters.

"We feel there is ample opportunity in Metro Detroit," says Tim Mckay, senior vice president of Level One Bank. "The economy feels good and people are starting to buy homes again."

Level One Bank has been growing steadily over the last few years, becoming one of the larger banks based in Oakland County. It now has $580 million in assets and seven branches that stretch from Ferndale to Bloomfield Township. The bank was working to execute a merger with Oxford Bank last year, but that didn't reach fruition.

Level One Bank has also grown its staff. The bank now employs 135 employees and nearly half a dozen interns after hiring 20 new staffers over the last year.

"We have hired a number of people over the last year," Mckay says.

Source: Tim Mckay, senior vice president of retail & mortgage banking
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Michigan Mutual hires 90, including 70 in Southfield

Michigan Mutual went through a big expansion over the last year, hiring 90 new people, including 70 for its Southfield office.

The Port Huron-based mortgage lender now has 432 employees and three interns. The bulk of its operations is in Southfield. There an office of 280 employees handling underwriting and wholesaling of the mortgages Michigan Mutual sells.

"The focus last year was putting the right people in the right seats," says Hale Walker, co-founder & senior vice president of Michigan Mutual. "The focus for the next year is talent."

Most of Michigan Mutual's business comes from traditional Midwestern and Southern states. The company is licensed to sell mortgages in 39 states and plans to grow by taking on more business along the U.S. Eastern seaboard and Western states, expanding by increasing its marketshare.

"There is a ton of potential for us to expand both east and west," Walker says.

Source: Hale Walker, co-founder & senior vice president of Michigan Mutual
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Schechter Wealth Strategies opens NYC office, adds 5 jobs

Schechter Wealth Strategies opened an office in New York City late last year as the Birmingham-based firm looked to capitalize on a growing economy.

The new office in Midtown Manhattan is the second satellite office for the 74 year-old wealth management firm, which also has an office in the Flint area. Schechter Wealth Strategies has notched close to 30-percent growth in the last two years. It has a goal of 15-percent growth this year and 65-percent growth by 2015.

"We felt that now is the right time with the economy on the upswing," says Stephen Blocki, COO of Schechter Wealth Strategies.

The New York City office is staffed by one person, who is one of the company's five new hires over the last year. Blocki was recently brought on as the company's new COO and Jimmy King (of the University of Michigan's Fab Five fame) as the new vice president of business development. The firm now employs 30 people.

Robert Langer is the managing director of Schechter Wealth Strategies' New York Office. Blocki says the firm decided to make the investment in a New York office as a way to replicate the firm's business model in new territory.

"Our goal is to grow into any market that has access to a network of high-net-worth individuals," Blocki says.

Source: Stephen Blocki, COO of Schechter Wealth Strategies
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
113 Finance Articles | Page: | Show All
Share this page
0
Email
Print
Signup for Email Alerts