First Advantage Bank has added to its ranks a senior vice president in the form of Kyle Luther, a veteran business lender who had been at Planters Bank for a dozen years. Luther specializes in commercial real estate and construction lending. Read more about his move here.
Shares of Avenue Financial Holdings, which began trading on the Nasdaq in February, are in line for a bit of a liquidity and visibility boost. They have been added to the ABA Nasdaq Community Bank Index, a composite of about 370 bank and thrift stocks that was launched in 2003. Avenue shares (Ticker: AVNU) ended Monday at $11.90, flat from where they ended their first day of trading. Daily volume averaged about 16,000 shares in May, but on only three trading days — including a monster volume session May 11 — did more than 10,000 shares change hands on a single day.
The state's No. 2 investment manager is departing to lead Maryland's pension fund system. Pensions & Investments reports that Andrew Palmer, deputy chief investment officer at the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, has been named CIO of the slightly larger Maryland State Retirement & Pension System. Palmer has worked for the state since 2006, when he joined as director of fixed income investing from Washington, D.C.-based firm ASB Capital Management.
By most accounts, the Middle Tennessee housing market is cooking. But the aftershocks of the financial crisis have resulted in an underwriting conservatism that has shut out some potential homebuyers. Nonprofit Affordable Housing Resources is looking to step in with a loan program that helps bridge the gap for house hunters with higher debt ratio and lower credit scores.
To become eligible, borrowers must show a two-year work history and take an eight-hour education class. They also must contribute a down payment of at least 1 percent.
“The pendulum has now swung so far in that direction that it is preventing responsible people from getting a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage,” said Eddie Latimer, AHR's CEO. “They are being kept from buying their first home, an important rung in the economic ladder.”
Two Avondale Partners managing directors and a senior analyst have left the locally based company for global firm Canaccord Genuity, which also has recruited a former Morgan Joseph vice chairman to set up a first Nashville office.
Making the move to Canaccord are:
• Roger Briggs Jr., who will lead Canaccord's sponsor coverage business nationwide and who was a partner at Trilantic Capital Partners from 2011 to 2013. Before that, Briggs (pictured) led Morgan Joseph's investment banking team for eight years.
• investment banker Dudley Baker, who had been with Avondale since late 2010, when he made the move from Morgan Joseph.
• health care technology and services analyst Richard Close and his right-hand man Brian Hoffman, who had been at Avondale since the springs of 2011 and 2012, respectively. Among the companies they cover is downtown-based HealthStream.
Getahn Ward with The Tennessean writes that the team is hunting for office space in Midtown or The Gulch.
Canaccord, whose shares are listed in Toronto (Ticker: CF) and in London, has a market cap of about $670 million and operations in 10 countries on four continents. The firm earlier this month recruited a team of real estate investment trust analysts in New York and San Francisco.
The move by Baker, Close and Hoffman is a blow for Avondale, whose CEO Pat Shepherd last fall told the Post he was seeking to grow his investment banking team and who early this year added former Stephens managing director Stephen Scott. Avondale's investment banking group, which is led by Jonathan Morphett, now has nine members.
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