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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, December 16, 2013, 6:50 am

Banking: With Alameda acquisition, Bank of Marin at $1.7 billion in assets

Also: Record earnings for Hennessy; trio forms Marin Wealth Advisors

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    Eric Gneckow, Business Journal Staff ReporterBank of Marin has completed its acquisition of Alameda-based NorCal Community Bancorp and its four-branch Bank of Alameda subsidiary, the Novato-based lender announced Dec. 9.

    The transaction, completed Nov. 29, adds about $230 million in deposits and $170 million in loans to Bank of Marin, the sole subsidiary of Bank of Marin Bancorp (Nasdaq: BMRC). The bank now has over $1.7 billion in assets and operates 21 offices across Marin, Sonoma, Napa, San Francisco and Alameda counties.

    Bank of Alameda, part of Bank of MarinThe bank first announced a definitive agreement to merge with the four-branch Bank of Alameda in July. Bank of Marin issued around 400,000 shares of stock and $16 million in cash for all outstanding shares of NorCal Community Bancorp (OTC: NCLC), for an aggregate deal value of $34.5 million, according to the announcement.

    Kevin Kennedy, formerly a director at NorCal, has joined the board of Bank of Marin as part of the transition. He has served four terms as treasurer for the city of Alameda.

    Also continuing through the transition is Steve Andrews, former CEO of Bank of Alameda. The bank had two retail branches in Alameda and a commercial banking office in both Oakland and Emeryville.

    It is the latest expansion for the bank since February 2011, when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp-assisted acquisition of Napa’s Charter Oak Bank gave Bank of Marin a physical footprint in Napa Valley.

    Bank of Alameda customers became Bank of Marin customers on Nov. 29. Additional system transitions are expected in March. Keefe, Buryette & Woods was the financial adviser for Bank of Marin, and Stuart Moore legal counsel. The financial adviser for NorCal was Sandler O’Neill + Partners, and Bingham McCutchen was legal counsel.

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    Hennessy Advisors, Inc. (OTCBB: HNNA) announced record earnings for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, fueled in part by benefits of a $2.2 billion acquisition earlier this year.

    With assets under management up 339 percent over the year, the Novato-based investment manager announced annual earnings per share of 83 cents — up 388 percent from fiscal year 2012. The company had over $4 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, compared to $919 million at the same time one year prior.

    The company had total revenue of $24.3 million for the year — up 243.7 percent — and net income of $4.8 million — up 396.5 percent.

    Those gains were significantly supported by the acquisition of $2.2 billion in assets formerly under management of Arlington- Va.-based FBR Funds, a transaction that closed in October. The move nearly tripled the firm’s assets under management, and helped to fuel market appreciation of around $648 million and net capital inflow of $243 million for the year.

    Hennessy Advisors surpassed $4 billion in assets under management in mid September, a major milestone for the nearly 25-year-old firm.

    ***

    Bay Equity Home Loans opened a new branch in Rohnert Park, its fourth in the North Bay, part of what the San Francisco-based lender Monday said is continued growth through the western United States and a broader shift from mortgage refinancing to home.

    Bay Equity also operates branches in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Larkspur, and has 69 retail branch offices in the western U.S.

    ***

    Robert Hunter, a Marin County-based wealth manager and investment adviser, joined with two other individuals — Ed Burke and Wayne Best — and formed a new advisory firm, Marin Wealth Advisors, LLC, (marinwealthadvisors.com, 415-458-5880).

    A graduate of Dominican University of California, Mr. Hunter has spent 25 years in the investment world as a stock broker and, more recently, an independent fee-only investment adviser. He is also active in outreach concerning the potential benefits of “crowdfunding.”

    ***

    Bingham Osborn & Scarborough, the San Francisco-based private wealth management firm with a number of North Bay clients and an office in Healdsburg, promoted Aaron Waxman to principal. Mr. Waxman is a certified financial planner and a certified pu8blic accountant, and previously was a manager for the Private Client Services group at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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    Send items for this column to eric.gneckow@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.

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