Daily News: April 18, 2012

AloStar Bank of Commerce Celebrates One-Year Anniversary


A year ago, federal regulators swept into Nexity Bank and closed the struggling, Birmingham-based financial institution paving the way for AloStar Bank of Commerce to emerge. On its first anniversary, AloStar Bank of Commerce is celebrating growth in assets from $771 million to $854 million, and growth in people from 75 to more than 100. Founding executives Michael Gillfillan and Andrew McGhee anticipate total assets of $1 billion by year-end.

While regulators had been unable to find buyers for previously shuttered correspondent banks, Gillfillan and McGhee had a different idea. They and a group of investors acquired a portion of the assets of Nexity through a loss share agreement with the FDIC, and then set their plan in motion for what would be one of two new banks chartered in 2011.

“We’ve come a long way,” said McGhee, AloStar executive vice president. “Mike and I kept the original team members and hired others who bought into the AloStar plan, and the results speak for themselves.”

Under AloStar’s unique model, a strong Internet deposit base funds loans to targeted small- and medium-sized businesses. In addition, correspondent services assist community banks around the country, sometimes by allowing them to share participation in asset-based loans.

“We envisioned a service platform for customers who are critical to our nation’s financial future: small- and medium-sized businesses, community banks, and depositors seeking strong returns,” said Gillfillan, chief executive officer. “That platform is now in place with a nationally premier lending team and strong deposit and community bank customer bases. The success is testimony to our legacy team members and the new talent we have brought on board at AloStar.”

McGhee, who has overseen the development of the AloStar Business Credit division, said the bank in its first year established offices in Atlanta’s Buckhead area, hired business development officers across the country and has grown from 75 to 108 employees. “The market was ready for AloStar,” he said. “We were able to grow during a time when growth was difficult for much of the industry.”

Capital levels remained strong throughout the year, with an initial Tier 1 ratio of 19.7% remaining steady, significantly exceeding the industry standard.

As a part of its one-year anniversary, the bank launched a special certificate of deposit promotion – a one-year 1.25% CD and two-year 1.40% CD with a minimum $1,000 and maximum $250,000 deposit.