Archive for April, 2012

On The Move

Northern Trust has hired Brian Heilman as a senior portfolio manager in their wealth management division. Based in Washington, D.C., Heilman will work closely with an integrated team of financial planners, trust advisors, private bankers and others to create and execute tailored investment programs for clients. With 24 years of investment experience, he most recently served as a senior portfolio manager for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff Cohen, P.C., a New York law firm, has hired David Levy as a partner in the litigation department. Levy is a seasoned commercial litigator with more than 30 years of experience in dispute resolution and general corporate and business counseling. He joins the firm from Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese Gluck, P.C., where he was a partner.

Fairhills Group, a White Plains, N.Y.-based alternative asset management firm, has hired Steven DiNunzio as principal and chief financial officer. DiNunzio will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of financial management, operations, accounting, auditing, compliance and reporting across all funds managed by Fairhills. DiNunzio most recently served as CFO of Diamond Notch Asset Management.

Executive Wealth Management has opened a new branch of the company in Rochester, Mich., led by Peter Mitroff and William Waggoner II. Mitroff serves as chief executive officer and specializes in IRA/401k distribution strategies and the emerging arena of multi-generational IRAs. Waggoner serves as chief financial officer and is a retirement plan distribution expert.

Geller Company, based in New York, has appointed Jerry Leamon to the newly created position of vice chairman of Geller’s Advisory Board. A 40-year executive with Deloitte, and partner for 30 years, Leamon most recently served as Deloitte’s global managing director.

—Kathy Lynch

Tags:

Friday, April 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

Searching for Today’s Must-Buy Dividends

LONDON — If recent market turbulence has taught us one thing, it is that we should respect the power of the dividend. Like a Duracell battery-powered toy, the income keeps banging away after those whizzy growth stocks have run down.

As I recently discovered, it is easy to go overboard on equity income — and that’s what I’m about to do. I want to dive into some nicely diversified equity income funds with low charges and hefty yields, preferably between 4% and 6%.

And then I want to invest for growth, year after year — at least 20 years, in fact, and possibly beyond.

Give it some stick
I already hold two equity income funds. Inevitably, one of them is Invesco Perpetual Income, run by you-know-who (Neil Woodford, in case you don’t). The other is Rathbone Income, managed by Carl Stick.

They’re both good funds, returning 53% and 57%, respectively, over the past three years. The trouble is that they’re both unit trusts with pricey total expense ratios, or TERs, of 1.68% and 1.56%.

Those charges take a hefty bite out of the funds’ annual yields of 3.8% and 4.13%. (As an aside, it’s interesting how Rathbone wins on growth, TER and yield.)

One alternative is to simply top up my portfolio of dividend-yielding stocks such as GlaxoSmithKline, Royal Dutch Shell, and Vodafone.

But this time I’m looking to see whether an investment trust (or three) can do the job instead.

Income at a premium
One drawback with dividend-paying investment trusts is that they tend to trade at a premium. Good examples are City of London Investment Trust, which has increased its dividend for 44 consecutive years, and Neil Woodford’s Edinburgh Investment Trust (ISE: EDIN.L) . Both trade at a premium of around 2% to 3% of net asset value.

That shows how highly investors prize them, but I don’t like buying trusts at a premium, especially since it knocks the yield. I want a discount, please.

So what did I find?

From little acorns…
I started my search in the UK High Income investment trust sector and stumbled across an investment trust I had never heard of before, called Acorn Income Fund  (ISE: AIF.L) , from Premier Asset Management.

This fund has already grown into a mighty oak, returning 198% over the past three years. It also yields 4.52% a year. Despite that, it is trading at a discount of more than -15%.

Why?

John McClure’s fund is 75% invested in smaller companies and is clearly making some big calls, with its largest holding, RPC Group, making up nearly 9% of the fund, while Fool favorite James Halstead totals 8%.

In fact, its top 10 holdings make up 50% of the fund. Diversified it ain’t.

That explains its sharp outperformance (its benchmark UK high income sector delivered 88%), as well as its high TER of 2.41%.

Small Companies Dividend Trust (ISE: SDV.L) , from Chelverton Asset Management, has returned 162% over three years, yields 6.4%, and trades at a -3% discount. Again, the TER is the blow at 2.46%.

Both funds look impressive, if you think now is the right time to invest in small companies — and if you can stomach those charges.

True blue
Next stop: UK Growth Income, home of solid blue-chip funds such as the top-performing Troy Income Growth Trust, which returned 112% over three years and yields 3.6% — but trades at a 4% premium. Curses!

Lowland Investment Company returned 109% over three years. It trades at a narrow -3% discount and yields 3.1%, with a low TER of 0.74%. I fancied a wider discount and bigger yield, but this looks like a contender.

Shires Income, from Aberdeen Asset Management, boasts a spiffing 6.5% yield and has returned 98% over three years, but it also trades at a small premium. Am I getting too hung up on this premium thing? It rules out another brace of income goodies: Edinburgh Investment Trust and Murray Trust, both from Aberdeen.

A -6% discount, a 6% yield, and a 0.66% TER? That has a devilish symmetry to it, which is why I might go shopping for Merchants Trust  (ISE: MRCH.L) , which invests in a portfolio of FTSE 100 faves, including BP, HSBC, British American Tobacco, BAE Systems, SSE, BT and National Grid.

Performance has been mid-table, rather than market-beating, matching the sector average by returning 60% (another six!) in three years. But its solid blend of stocks is highly appealing to me.

International velvet
Finally, to the International Growth Income sector. Scottish American Investment Company, from Baillie Gifford, is a standout here, returning 85% over three years and yielding slightly more than 4%. It is trading at a small discount with a 1.08% TER.

Murray International, from Asia specialist Aberdeen Asset Management, yields 4.1% but is trading at a whopping 5.9% premium. TERs tend to be higher in the international sector, and Murray charges 1.23%.

Bankers Trust, from Henderson Global Investors, is an international fund with large UK exposure and a relatively humble three-year return of 43%, which explains the -11% discount. The yield is a bit soppy at just over 3%. Its TER is a lowly 0.42%, but low charges aren’t everything.

My favorite here is the British Assets Trust  (ISE: BSET.L) , two-thirds invested in UK shares. It is up 58% over three years and yields a juicy 4.9%. It trades at a small -2% discount and has an acceptable TER of 0.74% and a track record that stretches back to 1898.

In trusts we trust
There is no single fund out there that meets my criteria. The best performers inevitably trade at a premium. Right now, I’m leaning toward Merchants Trust, British Assets, and Acorn Income.

Or do you have a better idea?

We cover dividend shares — and make specific company recommendations — within Motley Fool Share Advisor, a premium investing service designed to help you preserve and grow your wealth. If you’d like to see for yourself how we can help, start your 30-day free trial today. There’s no obligation to subscribe.

Further investment opportunities:

Tags:

Friday, April 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

Answering Your Finacial Questions About Retirement

Written by

Meghan Packer

<!–

–>

Greensboro, NC — No matter how old you are, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for retirement.

Steve Morton with Morton Wealth Management stopped by the Good Morning Show Thursday to answer your questions.

Sharon Tesh, a mom older than 50, said, “I’ve heard a lot of people describing the pros and cons of early retirement and taking your social security early rather than later.”

Morton said it depends. “She can get benefits as early as age 62, but it would be 70% of the normal retirement age amount. Her normal retirement age is 67. Between age 62 and 67 the amount is reduced on a sliding scale. If she is married, other options are available,” he said.

Jay Laramore asked a question about first-time investing: “How would you advise somebody like me, 25, just about to get my first job in the next year or so to invest in our 401(k), should we go very risky?”

To that, Morton said, “With so much time until retirement, he could go 100% into stock market investments, but I would diversify among several choices in the plan. These plans will typically have a variety of investment alternatives: large company stocks, small company stocks, international stocks, etc. Since he invests every pay period, this takes advantage of the gyrations in the market. When the market is down his contribution buys more shares, so it helps smooth out the performance due to something we call “dollar cost averaging”. His cost per share of the various investments will always be less than the average price where it has been trading. This is true since he buys more shares when market is down.”

Stacie Morgan, 36, said, “I believe there’s a 403(b), 401(k), a Roth IRA and I just don’t know which one is best for our family.”

To that, Morgan said, “Contributions to 403(b) or 401(k) are pre-tax, so she gets a tax break now for contributing to these. For example, if she contributed $100 and was in a 15% tax bracket, she saves $15 in tax so she gets $100 retirement savings for $85 out of pocket. The trade off is when the money comes out, it is subject to tax. If she thinks she will be in a lower tax bracket when she retires, she’d be ahead to do these tax deductible types of plans.”

Morgan added, “With a Roth IRA, you don’t take a tax deduction when the money goes in, but then you don’t pay tax in retirement when the money comes out. A Roth IRA will be more effective if your tax bracket in retirement is higher than when working.”

Tags:

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 EN No Comments

1st Source Has Strong Earnings in First Quarter, Cash Dividend Declared

SOUTH BEND, Ind.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–1st Source Corporation (Nasdaq: SRCE), parent company of 1st Source
Bank, today reported net income of $11.72 million for the first quarter
of 2012, up 10.44% compared to the $10.61 million reported in the first
quarter a year ago. Diluted net income per common share for the first
quarter of 2012 amounted to $0.48, up 11.63% over the $0.43 for the
first quarter of 2011.

At its April 2012 meeting, the Board of Directors approved a first
quarter cash dividend of $0.16 per common share. The cash dividend will
be payable on May 15, 2012, to shareholders of record as of May 7, 2012.

Christopher J. Murphy III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
commented on the first quarter by saying, “It was a good quarter for 1st
Source. Our performance was built on the basics – income was up,
expenses were down, and loan loss provisions remained about the same. We
are starting to see our markets strengthen a bit as our loan portfolios
grew 3.12%. Additionally, our net interest margin increased from last
quarter and from a year ago. Credit remains a focus as we work through
the challenges of the last several years.”

Mr. Murphy continued, “It was also a quarter where we saw several large
projects reach fruition – a new business loan system is coming online
that streamlines our processes making us more convenient and efficient
for the commercial customer, and we have enhanced our online offerings
at 1stsource.com so that we can chat – real time – with those who are
visiting our website and respond to their needs.”

“Our steady performance is being noticed by others. During the quarter,
we were recognized as one of the top 45 banks in the country when we
were named to the KBW Honor Roll of Superior Performers over the last
decade. We will remain diligent in providing outstanding client service,
maintaining pristine credit quality, and exercising rigorous cost
control which not only leads to inclusion in these types of
acknowledgments, but more importantly, leads to long-term solid
financial performance.”

Return on average common shareholders’ equity for 1st Source Corporation
was 8.84% compared to 8.73% for the first quarter of 2011, and return on
average total assets was 1.08% compared to 0.97% a year ago. As of March
31, 2012, the 1st Source common equity-to-assets ratio was 12.13%, up
from 11.12% a year ago and its tangible common equity-to-tangible assets
ratio was 10.32% compared to 9.29% a year earlier. Common shareholders’
equity was $531.89 million, up 8.45% from March 31, 2011. At the end of
March 2012, total assets were $4.38 billion, down slightly from the
$4.41 billion a year ago. Loans and leases increased 3.12% and deposits
decreased 2.86% from a year ago.

For the first quarter of 2012, 1st Source provided $2.25 million to the
reserve for loan and lease losses compared to $2.20 million for the
first quarter of 2011. Net charge-offs were $1.50 million for the first
quarter of 2012 compared to $2.91 million for the first quarter of 2011.
The reserve for loan and lease losses as of March 31, 2012, was 2.62% of
total loans and leases compared to 2.82% a year earlier. The ratio of
nonperforming assets to net loans and leases was 2.19% on March 31,
2012, compared to 2.81% for the same period last year. As of March 31,
2012, nonperforming assets included $1.13 million of former bank
premises held for sale.

Tax-equivalent net interest income was $37.92 million for the first
quarter of 2012, up 0.95% from 2011’s first quarter, and the net
interest margin was 3.77% compared to 3.71% in the first quarter of
2011, and 3.66% in the fourth quarter 2011.

Noninterest income for the three-month period ended March 31, 2012 was
$20.52 million, an increase of 8.28% as compared to the first quarter of
2011. Noninterest income increased primarily due to higher mortgage
banking income. During the first quarter of 2012, residential mortgage
loan production volume was $73.54 million compared to $38.85 million in
the first quarter of 2011.

Noninterest expense for the three-month period ended March 31, 2012 was
$38.05 million, a decrease of 1.11% as compared to the first quarter of
2011. Noninterest expense decreased as a result of reduced depreciation
on leased equipment and lower FDIC insurance premiums. These decreases
were offset by higher salary and employee benefit expenses and increased
professional fees.

1st Source serves the northern half of Indiana and southwest Michigan
with its community banking, insurance and wealth management services,
and nationally and internationally with specialty financing and leasing
services. 1st Source distinguishes itself with highly personalized
service and a comprehensive range of consumer and commercial banking
services delivered through its community bank offices. 1st Source Bank
provides services for businesses nationally by offering specialized
financing of automobiles for leasing and rental agencies, medium and
heavy duty trucks, construction and environmental equipment, and
nationally and internationally, for new and used private and cargo
aircraft. The Corporation includes 75 community banking centers, 8 trust
and wealth management locations, and 8 1st Source Insurance offices
located within 17 counties of northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan
and 23 specialty finance locations nationwide. With a history dating
back to 1863, 1st Source Bank has a tradition of providing superior
service to clients while playing a leadership role in assuring a strong
social safety net and continued economic development in the communities
it serves.

In addition to the results presented in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles in the United States of America, this
press release contains certain non-GAAP financial measures. 1st Source
Corporation believes that providing non-GAAP financial measures provides
investors with information useful to understanding our financial
performance. Additionally, these non-GAAP measures are used by
management for planning and forecasting purposes, including measures
based on “tangible equity” which is “common shareholders’ equity”
excluding intangible assets.

1st Source may be accessed on its home page at “www.1stsource.com.”
Its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under
“SRCE” and appears in the National Market System tables in many daily
newspapers under the code name “1st Src”. Except for historical
information contained herein, the matters discussed in this document
express “forward-looking statements.” Generally, the words “believe,”
“contemplate,” “seek,” “plan,” “possible,” “assume,” “expect,” “intend,”
“targeted,” “continue,” “remain,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,”
“will,” “should,” “indicate,” “would,” “may” and similar expressions
indicate forward-looking statements. Those statements, including
statements, projections, estimates or assumptions concerning future
events or performance, and other statements that are other than
statements of historical fact, are subject to material risks and
uncertainties. 1st Source cautions readers not to place undue reliance
on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made.

1st Source may make other written or oral forward-looking statements
from time to time. Readers are advised that various important factors
could cause 1st Source’s actual results or circumstances for future
periods to differ materially from those anticipated or projected in such
forward-looking statements. Such factors, among others, include changes
in laws, regulations or accounting principles generally accepted in the
United States; 1st Source’s competitive position within its markets
served; increasing consolidation within the banking industry; unforeseen
changes in interest rates; unforeseen downturns in the local, regional
or national economies or in the industries in which 1st Source has
credit concentrations; and other risks discussed in 1st Source’s filings
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report
on Form 10-K, which filings are available from the SEC. 1st Source
undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any
forward-looking statements.

 

1st SOURCE CORPORATION

1st QUARTER 2012 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

(Unaudited – Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

Three Months Ended

March 31,

2012

 

2011

END OF PERIOD BALANCES

Assets

$

4,384,696

$

4,412,376

Loans and leases

3,146,890

3,051,718

Deposits

3,505,674

3,609,007

Reserve for loan and lease losses

82,394

86,160

Intangible assets

88,475

88,650

Common shareholders’ equity

531,891

490,467

 

AVERAGE BALANCES

Assets

$

4,360,662

$

4,420,164

Earning assets

4,048,830

4,108,743

Investments

889,727

956,568

Loans and leases

3,089,868

3,054,013

Deposits

3,488,893

3,600,015

Interest bearing liabilities

3,177,574

3,348,626

Common shareholders’ equity

532,728

492,673

 

INCOME STATEMENT DATA

Net interest income

$

37,385

$

36,860

Net interest income – FTE

37,923

37,566

Provision for loan and lease losses

2,254

2,198

Noninterest income

20,523

18,953

Noninterest expense

38,048

38,476

Net income

11,715

10,608

 

PER SHARE DATA

Basic net income per common share

$

0.48

$

0.43

Diluted net income per common share

0.48

0.43

Common cash dividends declared

0.16

0.16

Book value per common share

21.92

20.18

Tangible book value per common share

18.28

16.53

Market value – High

26.79

20.90

Market value – Low

23.54

17.86

Basic weighted average common shares outstanding

24,259,416

24,271,366

Diluted weighted average common shares outstanding

24,270,866

24,279,517

 

KEY RATIOS

Return on average assets

1.08

%

0.97

%

Return on average common shareholders’ equity

8.84

8.73

Average common shareholders’ equity to average assets

12.22

11.15

End of period tangible common equity to tangible assets

10.32

9.29

Risk-based capital – Tier 1

15.19

14.38

Risk-based capital – Total

16.49

15.68

Net interest margin

3.77

3.71

Efficiency: expense to revenue

64.01

66.45

Net charge-offs to average loans and leases

0.20

0.39

Loan and lease loss reserve to loans and leases

2.62

2.82

Nonperforming assets to loans and leases

2.19

2.81

 

ASSET QUALITY

Loans and leases past due 90 days or more

$

393

$

515

Nonaccrual loans and leases

55,027

74,038

Other real estate

7,719

6,813

Former bank premises held for sale

1,134

1,200

Repossessions

6,109

5,482

Equipment owned under operating leases

41

300

Total nonperforming assets

70,423

88,348

 

 

1st SOURCE CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION

(Unaudited – Dollars in thousands)

 

March 31, 2012

 

March 31, 2011

ASSETS

Cash and due from banks

$

56,707

$

57,271

Federal funds sold and interest bearing deposits with other banks

901

81,661

Investment securities available-for-sale (amortized cost of
$872,783 and $927,522 at March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively)

901,817

942,221

Other investments

18,974

20,503

Trading account securities

144

146

Mortgages held for sale

18,114

5,467

 

Loans and leases, net of unearned discount:

Commercial and agricultural loans

545,057

547,381

Auto, light truck and environmental equipment

455,873

416,957

Medium and heavy duty truck

175,471

156,022

Aircraft financing

621,500

601,480

Construction equipment financing

271,475

271,490

Commercial real estate

539,112

578,648

Residential real estate

439,562

386,290

Consumer loans

 

98,840

 

 

93,450

 

Total loans and leases

3,146,890

3,051,718

Reserve for loan and lease losses

 

(82,394

)

 

(86,160

)

Net loans and leases

3,064,496

2,965,558

 

Equipment owned under operating leases, net

58,840

81,304

Net premises and equipment

39,963

36,024

Goodwill and intangible assets

88,475

88,650

Accrued income and other assets

 

136,265

 

 

133,571

 

 

Total assets

$

4,384,696

 

$

4,412,376

 

 

LIABILITIES

Deposits:

Noninterest bearing

$

587,324

$

513,315

Interest bearing

 

2,918,350

 

 

3,095,692

 

Total deposits

3,505,674

3,609,007

 

Short-term borrowings:

Federal funds purchased and securities sold under agreements to
purchase

125,010

112,914

Other short-term borrowings

 

18,761

 

 

19,239

 

Total short-term borrowings

143,771

132,153

Long-term debt and mandatorily redeemable securities

39,828

26,717

Subordinated notes

89,692

89,692

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

 

73,840

 

 

64,340

 

Total liabilities

 

3,852,805

 

 

3,921,909

 

 

SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Preferred stock; no par value

Common stock; no par value

346,535

346,535

Retained earnings

198,175

164,455

Cost of common stock in treasury

(30,757

)

(29,655

)

Accumulated other comprehensive income

 

17,938

 

 

9,132

 

Total shareholders’ equity

 

531,891

 

 

490,467

 

 

Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity

$

4,384,696

 

$

4,412,376

 

 

 

1st SOURCE CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(Unaudited – Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)

 

Three Months Ended

March 31,

2012

 

2011

Interest income:

 

Loans and leases

$

39,896

$

41,299

Investment securities, taxable

4,327

4,482

Investment securities, tax-exempt

852

1,186

Other

 

226

 

 

243

Total interest income

 

45,301

 

 

47,210

 

Interest expense:

Deposits

5,745

8,355

Short-term borrowings

53

89

Subordinated notes

1,647

1,647

Long-term debt and mandatorily redeemable securities

 

471

 

 

259

Total interest expense

 

7,916

 

 

10,350

 

Net interest income

37,385

36,860

Provision for loan and lease losses

 

2,254

 

 

2,198

Net interest income after provision for loan and lease losses

35,131

34,662

 

Noninterest income:

Trust fees

3,973

3,992

Service charges on deposit accounts

4,505

4,236

Mortgage banking income

1,942

444

Insurance commissions

1,357

1,142

Equipment rental income

5,350

6,038

Other income

3,001

2,971

Investment securities and other investment gains

 

395

 

 

130

Total noninterest income

 

20,523

 

 

18,953

 

Noninterest expense:

Salaries and employee benefits

20,316

18,638

Net occupancy expense

2,160

2,320

Furniture and equipment expense

3,507

3,349

Depreciation – leased equipment

4,311

4,805

Professional fees

1,398

1,096

Supplies and communication

1,393

1,394

FDIC and other insurance

949

1,676

Business development and marketing expense

867

622

Loan and lease collection and repossession expense

1,501

1,324

Other expense

 

1,646

 

 

3,252

Total noninterest expense

 

38,048

 

 

38,476

 

Income before income taxes

17,606

15,139

Income tax expense

 

5,891

 

 

4,531

 

Net income

$

11,715

 

$

10,608

 

 

 

The Nasdaq Global Select Market Symbol: “SRCE” (CUSIP #336901 10 3)

Please contact us at shareholder@1stsource.com

Tags:

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 EN No Comments

Digagogo Ventures Begins Generating Revenue Streams From First Licensee and …

DETROIT, MI–(Marketwire – April 25, 2012) –  Digagogo Ventures Corp. (“Digagogo” or the “Company”) (OTCBB: DOGO) (www.digagogo.com), a provider of information and marketing communications technology for local communities, announced today that it has appointed Nehru Chomatil, an experienced investment banking executive as President and CEO to head up the executive team and lead the growth of the company. The company also reports that our first licensee — Red Deer — has begun generating revenue.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me, and I will work hard to fulfill the board’s expectations,” stated Nehru Chomatil. “The company is now at a stage where we will soon be launching the Do Go Net engine component of our Red Deer Do Go Net website www.reddeerdogonet.com. This will be the prototype for all future local Do Go Net community websites. As well, we have a number of other vertical industries that we are investigating — where we believe our powerful Do Go Net, Do Go Search and Do Go Pay engines can be profitably implemented. This next two years will be an exceptional growth period for the company and I am gratified the board has put its trust in me to help lead the company to success.”

According to Fernando Londe, the newly appointed Chairman of Digagogo Ventures Corp., “We believe it’s critical for the growth of the company to find someone who understands public company development and the investment community. This appointment will take the company to the next level and help build shareholder value. Mr. Chomatil brings over 20 years of public company and investment industry experience. And he has a proven track record raising capital for emerging growth companies. As Chairman, I will support him as he directs the growth and brings new opportunities to the company.”

Terry Arnold, the current Digagogo President, stated: “I am pleased that Mr. Chomatil has been appointed President and CEO of Digagogo Ventures Corp. He brings a fresh perspective and the considerable experience to turn opportunities into reality. In his role as President, he will implement higher standards and bring new value to the company. And his appointment frees me to assume my new role as Vice President, heading up the Detroit Do Go Net initiative.”

First Licensee Begins Generating Revenue – Update on Red Deer
“We are also pleased to report that our first licensee — Red Deer Do Go Net — has started to generate revenue from two of our initiatives that we plan to roll out in every local city portal licensee,” stated Nehru Chomatil. “The two initiatives include our Red Deer Do Go Center business center that is becoming a popular resource for local businesses to use for meetings, presentations, logistics, and as an Internet technology learning services. The other initiative is our new Red Deer Apple iPad Eating Guide app that we are developing. We are beginning to generate advertising revenue from this iPad app, which should become a popular resource for locals dining out. It will include a complete listing of all Red Deer County restaurants, sorted by food categories such as Take-Out, Pub Food, Fine Dining and Ethnic Food. We are excited about this new product offering as we plan to roll out several other Apple iPad apps targeting other industry verticals. With over 77 million iPads in use and 12 million sold in the first quarter of 2012, we believe these Apple iPad apps will only increase in consumer use popularity.” Note: We are quoting Apple figures for number of iPads in use.

About Nehru Chomatil
Nehru Chomatil has extensive experience in the financing and banking communities. He began his career as a stockbroker with West America, Inc., a Paine Webber affiliate company. Nehru was head of Private Client Wealth Management Division at First American Equities and was the Principal Equities Trader for National Capital and Carlin Equities, both boutique specialty firms. He was Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron Capital, a regional investment banking and brokerage firm where he was responsible for overseeing the development and long-term strategic direction of the firm. Under his guidance, he was successful in bringing the firm back to profitability. As a visionary, he implemented a user-friendly software platform that produced increased efficiencies in trade executions and overall compliance within the SmallCap and MicroCap markets. His expertise within the financial service industry enabled him to successfully raise venture capital for developmental companies in both the private and public sector. Nehru also gained valuable experience in the 1990’s developing, managing and consulting start-ups for a variety of service industry companies. He served on the Advisory Boards of Allied Development LLC and Swimco Pools Arizona. Nehru attended Arizona State University where he studied Aeronautical Engineering Technology and Finance and received a B.Sc.

How Do Go Centers Will Help Stimulate Local Community Economies
The state of the art Do Go Centers will help stimulate local community economies through online marketing and sales, and provide technology and leadership to build sustainable local business communities. The Do Go Net network provides a localized geographical sales channel for brands, manufacturers and retail operators to subscribe to. This local sales and distribution network enables users to buy, sell and share with every connected household portal. Families can build a personalized website, enabling them to login and become an independent business unit to conduct buying and selling through their virtual storefront. The Do Go Net channel also gives users the opportunity to take advantage of local group purchasing. Using Do Go Search they can access an exclusive local search engine that enables individuals, businesses, organizations and municipalities to provide searchable time-sensitive real-world information through an online platform, further enhancing everyone’s marketing efforts. We believe this is a very scalable business platform that when implemented will prove to have a huge upside potential for local economies.

About Digagogo Ventures Corp.
Digagogo is a technology company based in Detroit with expertise in digital marketing, advanced Internet and telecommunication technology, and a strong background in the research and development of emerging technologies. Key members of Digagogo were involved in the development of software in areas ranging from security solutions for The United States Department of Defense (AirForce/NASA), Citibank Financial, ADP Payroll and Nissan Motor Corp., to high value interactive entertainment solutions for companies such as 20th Century Fox, Electronic Arts, Nexon and other online entertainment multi-nationals. In addition, Digagogo has a highly skilled International team that has worked with companies like Alliance Technology, Universal Music, and Esprit to identify market gaps and apply emerging technologies that drive business revenue. Digagogo has compounded all this knowledge to design Do Go Net, Do Go Search and Do Go Pay. These products and services aid in building strong local economies for any given region by facilitating digital sales, distribution and advertising networks.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements in this press release may be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “optimizing,” “potential,” “anticipate,” “goal,” “intend” and similar expressions, as they relate to the company or its management, identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the company’s business based, in part, on assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may, and probably will, differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including those described above and those risks discussed from time to time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tags:

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 EN No Comments

Philip Hayes Appointed Deputy Head Of First Republic Trust Company

First
Republic Bank
, a leading private bank and wealth management company,
today announced that Philip Hayes, a trust executive with 20 years of
experience, has been named Deputy Head of First Republic Trust Company.

First Republic also announced that Alistair “Sandy” Christopher has
joined
First
Republic Trust Company
as Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at
160 Federal Street in Boston.

The appointments of Hayes and Christopher are part of First Republic’s
focus on broadening its trust capabilities to meet growing demand from
clients. In March, First Republic opened a trust company in Delaware and
has continued to hire senior trust officers in its urban, coastal
markets.

Prior to joining First Republic, Hayes worked for Bessemer Trust for 11
years, most recently as Managing Director and Western Region Fiduciary
Counsel. Prior to that, he was an estate planning and trust attorney in
Southern and Northern California. Hayes received a Bachelor of Arts
degree in economics from University of California at Los Angeles, and a
juris doctorate from University of California, Hastings College of the
Law.

Christopher joined First Republic from U.S. Trust in Boston, where he
was a Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer. He also was an
estate planning and trust attorney. Christopher has a Bachelor of Arts
degree in history from Yale University and a juris doctorate from Boston
College Law School. He is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA).

First Republic Trust Company is part of
First
Republic Private Wealth Management
, which provides customized wealth
management solutions, including investment management and brokerage
services, to high net worth individuals and families, foundations, and
endowments. First Republic Private Wealth Management complements First
Republic’s comprehensive private banking and business banking
capabilities.

First Republic Trust Company offers clients an open architecture model
that delivers maximum choice and flexibility. First Republic’s trust
officers coordinate interaction among a client’s existing advisors and
investment managers. First Republic Trust Company can serve as Trustee,
Successor Trustee, or Co-Trustee on many types of personal trusts,
including marital, irrevocable and charitable trusts. First Republic
also serves as Executor or Co-Executor for estate settlements. As of
March 31, 2012, First Republic Trust Company had more than $4.6 billion
in assets under management and custody.


Tags:

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 EN No Comments

Philip Hayes Appointed Deputy Head of First Republic Trust Company

Senior Trust Officer Sandy Christopher Joins Expanding Team in
Boston

ul, #spacingText > ul {list-style:disc inside none;} div.newsStory > ul li, #spacingText > ul li {margin-left:15px;}
.bwalignc {text-align: center}
.bwuline {text-decoration: underline}]]>

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First
Republic Bank
, a leading private bank and wealth management company,
today announced that Philip Hayes, a trust executive with 20 years of
experience, has been named Deputy Head of First Republic Trust Company.

ul, #spacingText > ul {list-style:disc inside none;} div.newsStory > ul li, #spacingText > ul li {margin-left:15px;}
.bwalignc {text-align: center}
.bwuline {text-decoration: underline}]]>

First Republic also announced that Alistair “Sandy” Christopher has
joined First
Republic Trust Company
as Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at
160 Federal Street in Boston.

ul, #spacingText > ul {list-style:disc inside none;} div.newsStory > ul li, #spacingText > ul li {margin-left:15px;}
.bwalignc {text-align: center}
.bwuline {text-decoration: underline}]]>

The appointments of Hayes and Christopher are part of First Republic’s
focus on broadening its trust capabilities to meet growing demand from
clients. In March, First Republic opened a trust company in Delaware and
has continued to hire senior trust officers in its urban, coastal
markets.

ul, #spacingText > ul {list-style:disc inside none;} div.newsStory > ul li, #spacingText > ul li {margin-left:15px;}
.bwalignc {text-align: center}
.bwuline {text-decoration: underline}]]>

Prior to joining First Republic, Hayes worked for Bessemer Trust for 11
years, most recently as Managing Director and Western Region Fiduciary
Counsel. Prior to that, he was an estate planning and trust attorney in
Southern and Northern California. Hayes received a Bachelor of Arts
degree in economics from University of California at Los Angeles, and a
juris doctorate from University of California, Hastings College of the
Law.

ul, #spacingText > ul {list-style:disc inside none;} div.newsStory > ul li, #spacingText > ul li {margin-left:15px;}
.bwalignc {text-align: center}
.bwuline {text-decoration: underline}]]>

Christopher joined First Republic from U.S. Trust in Boston, where he
was a Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer. He also was an
estate planning and trust attorney. Christopher has a Bachelor of Arts
degree in history from Yale University and a juris doctorate from Boston
College Law School. He is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA).

ul, #spacingText > ul {list-style:disc inside none;} div.newsStory > ul li, #spacingText > ul li {margin-left:15px;}
.bwalignc {text-align: center}
.bwuline {text-decoration: underline}]]>

First Republic Trust Company is part of First
Republic Private Wealth Management
, which provides customized wealth
management solutions, including investment management and brokerage
services, to high net worth individuals and families, foundations, and
endowments. First Republic Private Wealth Management complements First
Republic’s comprehensive private banking and business banking
capabilities.

Tags:

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 EN No Comments

FIRST REPUBLIC BANK : Philip Hayes Appointed Deputy Head of First Republic … – 4

04/25/2012 | 09:15am

Senior Trust Officer Sandy Christopher Joins Expanding Team in
Boston

First
Republic Bank
, a leading private bank and wealth management company,
today announced that Philip Hayes, a trust executive with 20 years of
experience, has been named Deputy Head of First Republic Trust Company.

First Republic also announced that Alistair “Sandy” Christopher has
joined First
Republic Trust Company
as Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at
160 Federal Street in Boston.

The appointments of Hayes and Christopher are part of First Republic’s
focus on broadening its trust capabilities to meet growing demand from
clients. In March, First Republic opened a trust company in Delaware and
has continued to hire senior trust officers in its urban, coastal
markets.

Prior to joining First Republic, Hayes worked for Bessemer Trust for 11
years, most recently as Managing Director and Western Region Fiduciary
Counsel. Prior to that, he was an estate planning and trust attorney in
Southern and Northern California. Hayes received a Bachelor of Arts
degree in economics from University of California at Los Angeles, and a
juris doctorate from University of California, Hastings College of the
Law.

Christopher joined First Republic from U.S. Trust in Boston, where he
was a Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer. He also was an
estate planning and trust attorney. Christopher has a Bachelor of Arts
degree in history from Yale University and a juris doctorate from Boston
College Law School. He is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA).

First Republic Trust Company is part of First
Republic Private Wealth Management
, which provides customized wealth
management solutions, including investment management and brokerage
services, to high net worth individuals and families, foundations, and
endowments. First Republic Private Wealth Management complements First
Republic’s comprehensive private banking and business banking
capabilities.

First Republic Trust Company offers clients an open architecture model
that delivers maximum choice and flexibility. First Republic’s trust
officers coordinate interaction among a client’s existing advisors and
investment managers. First Republic Trust Company can serve as Trustee,
Successor Trustee, or Co-Trustee on many types of personal trusts,
including marital, irrevocable and charitable trusts. First Republic
also serves as Executor or Co-Executor for estate settlements. As of
March 31, 2012, First Republic Trust Company had more than $4.6 billion
in assets under management and custody.

About First Republic Bank

First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) and its subsidiaries provide private
banking, private business banking and private wealth management. Founded
in 1985, First Republic specializes in exceptional, relationship-based
service offered through preferred banking or wealth management offices
primarily in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara,
Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland, Boston, Greenwich and New York City.
First Republic offers a complete line of banking products for
individuals and businesses, including deposit services, as well as
residential, commercial and personal loans. First Republic is a
component of the SP Total Market Index, the Wilshire 5000 Total Market
IndexSM, the Russell 1000®, Russell 3000® and Russell Global
indices and six Dow Jones indices.

About First Republic Private Wealth Management

First Republic Private Wealth Management is the investment management,
trust and brokerage group of First Republic Bank. First Republic Private
Wealth Management offers objective advice and fully customized solutions
with the same level of exceptional client service that has been the
hallmark of First Republic Bank for more than 25 years. First Republic
has the flexibility to provide individuals, families, businesses,
endowments, schools and non-profit organizations with appropriate
choices that responsibly meet a client’s specific investment objectives.
Securities Products and Services are offered by First Republic
Securities Company, LLC – Member FINRA/SIPC. First Republic Securities
Company and First Republic Investment Management are wholly owned
subsidiaries of First Republic Bank. Unless otherwise disclosed,
investments through First Republic Investment Management and First
Republic Securities Company, LLC are not FDIC-insured, not bank
guaranteed and may lose value.

Blue
Marlin Partners

Greg Berardi, 415-239-7826
greg@bluemarlinpartners.com

Tags:

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 EN No Comments

HSBC and Zurich sign 10-year exclusive distribution agreement for MENA

Apr 24 2012

more articles from

HSBC Middle East has entered a strategic partnership with Zurich and selected them as their exclusive partner for the distribution of Wealth Insurance products in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, with other Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets to be considered in the future.

The 10 year exclusive contract with Zurich brings considerably improved commercial terms for HSBC. Most importantly, it brings significant value for HSBC’s customers in terms of product quality and diversity, and enhanced wealth insurance capabilities. The agreement follows on from HSBC’s announcement last month of ten year non-life bancassurance agreements with AXA in Hong Kong, Singapore, India, China, Indonesia and Mexico, and with QBE for Hang Seng and in Argentina.

The alliance will enable HSBC’s Retail Banking and Wealth Management (RBWM) business in MENA to build specialist expertise in its Wealth Insurance business and provide a consistent experience to HSBC customers in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, in line with HSBC’s Global Wealth transformation strategy.

Francesca McDonagh, Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management said, “This agreement falls completely in alignment with HSBC’s strategy to build longer-term, exclusive alliances with preferred strategic partners to deliver more value to our customers. Providing best-in-class wealth insurance solutions is a core part of our wealth management strategy in MENA. As a result of this collaboration, we will be able to provide greater benefits and better service to our customers. HSBC customers will see a more comprehensive, yet simple range of wealth insurance solutions aligned with their protection and investment needs, and delivered in an efficient, customer-centric approach.”

The strategic partnership will be implemented across UAE, Qatar and Bahrain first and will provide HSBC the depth and breadth to drive its Wealth Insurance business further across important wealth markets.

Thorsten Kocherscheidt, CEO of Zurich’s Global Life business in Middle East and Africa comments, “Zurich and HSBC already have an extensive relationship in the Middle East and I am delighted that this has been formalized into a long-term exclusive arrangement in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. We look forward to developing first-class propositions for HSBC’s Retail Banking and Wealth Management customers across the region. This agreement also underlines Zurich’s commitment to grow in emerging markets.”

Zurich have been a preferred strategic partner of HSBC since 2008 and this Middle East partnership further strengthens the global relationship.

HSBC in the MENA Region
HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with a presence in 14 countries across the region. HSBC has operations in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Algeria and the Palestinian Autonomous Area. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 40% shareholder of Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 49% shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia for investment banking in the Kingdom. In Iraq, HSBC holds a majority shareholding in Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank. HSBC also maintains a representative office in Libya.

This presence, the widest reach of any bank in the region, comprises some 273 offices and around 12,000 employees. In the full year 2011, HSBC in the MENA region made a profit before tax of US$1,492m.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 7,200 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,556bn at 31 December 2011, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Zurich Insurance Group
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurance provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East as well as other markets. It offers a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services for individuals, small businesses, mid-sized and large companies as well as multinational corporations. Zurich employs about 60,000 people serving customers in more than 170 countries. The Group, formerly known as Zurich Financial Services Group, is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt program which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX.

Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.

Media enquiries for Zurich:
Steven Greenfield
+971 4 4252376
+971 50 6547922
steven.greenfield@zurich.com

Riccardo Moretto
+41 44 625 39 45
+41 (0)79 419 21 15
riccardo.moretto@zurich.com

Media enquiries for HSBC Bank Middle East:
Farah Farooq
+971 4 4235635
+971 56 6867337
farah.farooq@hsbc.com

Ahmad Othman
+971 4 4235628
+971 50 3069313
ahmad.othman@hsbc.com

© Press Release 2012

Tags:

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 EN No Comments

Why Merrill is overweighting corporate credit





Why Merrill is overweighting corporate credit

April 24, 2012 6:01 am ET

The following is excerpted from a report by the Chief Investment Officer Team for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. The team is headed by Lisa Shallet, CIO of Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and head of investment management guidance.

Advertisement

Related to this story


Although recent earnings announcements have provided a balancing perspective for markets based on the resilience of corporate fundamentals—especially as expectations have been reduced—investors need to keep in perspective that results are being delivered against the backdrop of slowing global growth.

Specifically, when all is said and done, it currently looks like first-quarter profits will grow 3% year-over-year and will be down 1% sequentially from the fourth quarter, after 13% year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter. Sales growth in the first quarter was up 4%, and year-on-year it was down 3% sequentially. The reality is that among the high frequency data, the picture is increasingly mixed. China GDP at 8.1% missed expectations of 8.3% and showed sequential slowing from the fourth quarter of 1.8% versus 2%. While we don’t expect a hard landing in China and agree with BofA ML China analyst Ting Lu that the first quarter of 2012 is probably the nadir for growth—with fixed asset investment (FAI) still running at 21% growth and March retail sales still growing above a 15% annual pace—there is little doubt that global trade growth has slowed. Eurozone industrial production is contracting at an annual pace of 1.7%, despite ebullient sentiment surveys from Germany—where European Central Bank (ECB) policy has been a punch bowl. Inflation is moderating almost everywhere in the world. India joined in on making central bank policy actions, as we had been hoping, by cutting rates by a more-than-expected 50 basis points (bps) to 8% from 8.5%. In the U.S., the mixed message is even messier—Michigan consumer confidence ticked down and new housing starts fell versus last month and versus expectations. Retail sales were broadly a blowout, as sales were up 0.8% versus the consensus of up 0.3%. Building permits were also up. Industrial production held steady in the month. Our conclusion: We continue to be in a low growth, low inflation and low rate environment.

This is the “sweet spot” for corporate credit and that is where the bulk of our strategic asset allocation overweights are located. Against this backdrop, we see specific opportunities to have a balanced exposure to risk assets. We have been positioning for a continuing equity rally that would grind higher and narrow, becoming more selective over time. Within equities, where we are neutral to our strategic allocation, our preferences remain for the U.S. large cap dividend growers and those companies that should meet and beat expectations because of global leading brands, technology and pricing power, which offsets pressures on peak margins. These companies continue to be found in technology, healthcare and industrials.

We want to be active stock pickers in a narrowing market that grinds upward. In addition, valuation in Emerging Market equities is compelling, with forward price/earnings ratios of 10.8 times versus 13.5 times in the SP 500, and earnings growth of 14-15% versus 8-9% for the SP 500. Emerging Market stocks are seeing their long-run beta and volatility decline just as the quality of their balance sheets improve. Other international exposure should favor Canada, Japan and Australia while continuing to underweight Europe.

In global fixed income, where we have an overweight recommendation versus strategic allocations, recent Treasury (and other sovereign markets, i.e., German bunds) market rallies have once again exposed the relative bargains available in municipals, investment grade and Emerging Market debt.

Our favored position currently remains to add to high-yield bonds where spreads to Treasuries widened back to 625 bps versus the target of 550-580 bps. Our thesis for the corporate credit asset class continues to be that corporate debt of all stripes will massively outperform historic spreads this cycle as balance sheet quality is at historic strength, cash on hand is ample and default rates will undershoot. The majority of players have advantageously refinanced at very low costs of capital with reasonable duration. As noted above, we want to continue to caution investors about Treasuries. Volatility trends in the past month, where we have seen 4% moves in either direction from 2.4% to 1.99% round-trip in the 10-year yields, are extreme and annualized would suggest risk levels at 1.6 times equities. While we are not forecasting or extrapolating that—we are suggesting that we are getting into the ninth inning with the Federal Reserve Board’s (Fed) direct support. Among alternatives, we want to be overweight with a preference for private equity, which should benefit from attractive valuations and low debt financing costs, gold which remains a great hedge to risk based assets and central bank money printing.

Within hedged strategies, we prefer absolute return mandates. In this category we like market neutral, relative value, distressed debt, merger arbitrage and global macro approaches.

Latest News

«
»

Why Merrill is overweighting corporate credit

Why Fed policy makes doing right by clients difficult

Grantham: How to survive betting against the bull

E.F. Hutton, the sequel: Will it play?

MetLife to pay $500M to settle death benefit probe

Social Security will be tapped out sooner than expected, warn Trustees

Surprise! E.F. Hutton talks again as firm resurrected

Bought for $881, this LTCI policy’s paid out $1.7M

‘Hitch your wagon to foreign demand’: SMU’s Cox

American Funds’ 529 plan catching up with the times

Comments

Tags:

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 EN No Comments