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190 posts categorized "Financial advisors news"

December 11, 2015

Thrivent Financial to move to new office

The new year is bringing a new home for Thrivent Financial Rochester Group.

8e29344138ee456cbceef32d0b07dbd4The office plans to move from the Bandel Road Business Center at 5721 Bandel Road NW, to 116 Elton Hills Lane NW in early January, according to Colin Aldis. Aldis, along with Eric Funk, serves as principal of the Thrivent Financial Rochester Group.

Thrivent will share the building with Rochester Endodontics. Mike Haley of Braasch Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Aldis said that while the six-person office is moving to a smaller, 2,000-square-foot space, the change could mean bigger things for the comprehensive financial planning practice.

"We will be 1.49 miles from Mayo Clinic. About 70 percent of our client base works at Mayo," he said. "This is a good fit. We're just off of Broadway and there's good parking."

Other positives about the new location will be the close proximity to the new Rochester Area Foundation office and the new home of the Rochester Senior Center.

Thrivent Financial Rochester Group had occupied 4,200-square-feet of space in the Bandel Road building since January of 2008. The center was built by Rochester developer Jeff Brown in 2007.

Vance Prigge, majority owner and president of Atlas Insurance Brokers, bought the Bandel Road Business Center in November 2014 from local architect David Kane for $1.6 million.


March 06, 2015

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post. Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my sixth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More  than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to businesPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11s in southeastern Minnesota.

It'syou, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years. 

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post.Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my siPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11xth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to business in southeastern Minnesota.

It's you, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years.  

January 15, 2015

New name goes up on downtown Rochester landmark

A downtown Rochester landmark now is sporting a new name.
A new sign for the Morgan Stanley Center went up on Wednesday at 201 S. Broadway, the former Lanmark Center.

01142015morganstanleysign"When we renewed our lease, we asked about the naming rights of the building," said David Olson, who is in charge of Morgan Stanley's Rochester branch. "People agreed it would make sense for it to be the Morgan Stanley Center. We're really excited about it."

Morgan Stanley has been based on the second floor of the 65-year-old building for the past 15 years, he said. However, a lot of people weren't aware it was there.

"Now," Olson said, "People will know where we are."

While many financial companies have moved out of downtown in recent years, Morgan Stanley decided not to follow them.

"It's kind of fun being here right at the heart of it, here at Broadway and Second. With DMC (Destination Medical Center) and all of the developments, it makes sense to stay," he said.

As part of the change, Morgan Stanley has made some changes to spruce the building and the office up. Olson said he expects to host an open house in the spring to celebrate the new name.

The name, Lanmark Center, originated from Lanmark Property Management. That firm was owned by Rochester developer Gus Chafoulias, who also owned the building from 1998 to 2003.

In 2003, GAC Development sold the 34,384-square-foot complex to MK Lanmark LLC for $7 million. MK Lanmark is owned by real estate investor Mark Kramer, of Iowa.

The building is known to older generations of Rochester residents as the former F. W. Woolworth Co., which opened there in January 1950.

Before Woolworth, that site had housed the historic Cook Hotel. The Cook Hotel, which was built in 1869, burned in February 1946. It was demolished in 1949.

July 24, 2014

Bremer Bank to acquire Eastwood Bank

St. Paul-based bank Bremer Bank announced Thursday that it's expanding into southeastern Minnesota by acquiring Rochester's Eastwood Bank.

Photo_branch_318This move quickly ramps up Bremer's presence in this area by adding Eastwood's 13 locations. Bremer has 85 branches in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. The nearest branch is in Owatonna, which opened in 2012. It recently broke ground to build a new bank in Eau Claire, Wis.

"This partnership is part of Bremer's overall expansion strategy of entering new markets, making acquisitions and recruiting top talent. We have been working on our expansion initiatives since 2011," said Greg Hilding, Bremer's midwest group president.

The deal is expected to close on Jan. 23, pending regulator approval. Eastwood and Bremer officials declined to discuss the financial terms of the purchase. Once it's approved, all of Eastwood's branches will change over to the Bremer name.

Brad Peters, Bremer's Southeast Minnesota region CEO, will take over the Eastwood Bank operations with Eastwood's current president Paul Tieskoetter reporting directly to Peters.

Acquiring Eastwood extends Bremer's coverage in Minnesota as well as strengthening its position as one of this region's largest financial institutions. Dave Talen, the president of Eastwood bank's holding company, described the deal as being about growth for Bremer.

"It's a great strategic fit and a great geographic fit, really with no overlap," added Hilding.

That lack of overlap with any of Bremer's locations appears to be positive for the future of Eastwood's more than 185 employees. During the next six months, Bremer will study Eastwood to determine if any adjustments are needed. However, dramatic changes don't seem likely.

"We have every intention to continue forward with these locations that Eastwood Bank has built," Hilding said while traveling to Eastwood's branches with Dave Talen to meet the staff. "It's a privalige to take over such a strong legacy. It's an opportunity and a responsibility we intend to uphold."

As of March 2014, Bremer listed assets of $8.8 billion, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Rochester's Think Mutual Bank had assets of $1.5 billion, Winona's Merchants Bank had $1.39 billion.

Eastwood's roots extend back to 1903 to founding of the First State Bank of Dover. That bank was later acquired by Farmers State Bank in Eyota. In 1979, Farmers State opened a Rochester branch and called it Eastwood. First State, Farmers State and Eastwood were all combined under the name of Eastwood in 1982.

Considering the family's 75 year history with the bank and the community, the Talens say deciding to sell was took a lot of consideration.

"We have carefully considered what is best for our shareholders, customers, communities and employees," stated Eastwood Bank Chair James Talen. "And we believe the decision to become part of the Bremer organization is the right choice for meeting the best interests of all of these groups."

Dave Talen, James' son, echoed that sentiment. "We wanted someone who would carry on what we've built. Bremer is a good cultural fit with Eastwood," he said.

Both James and Dave Talen will remain with the organization through 2015 "to assist with the transition," according to Bremer Bank.

November 06, 2013

Mayo Clinic-linked Cardio3 Biosciences stock surges

On the record, everybody always says that competition is good. I actually suspect many of the businesses that say that don't really believe that. However, here's a concrete example of competition directly bringing in money for a company.
Cardio3 BioSciences, the Belgium biotech firm based on Mayo Clinic research, saw its stock on the NYSE Euronext stock exchanges in Brussels and Paris spike this week after a competitor, Mesoblast, got the greenlight from the FDA to start clinical trials of its C3bs_logosimiliar regenerative treatment.
Cardio3's therapy uses stem cells from a patient's  bone marrow. Through a proprietary process called Cardiopoiesis, Cardio3 re-programs those cells to become heart cells. The cells are then injected back into the patient's heart to repair damaged tissue.
As a shareholder, Mayo Clinic controls 10.44 percent of Cardio3's stock, according to Cardio3.
Here's some from a Tuesday piece by Simeon Bennett of Reuters about this week's bump.

Cardio3 advanced 50 cents to 24.50 euros at the 5:35 p.m. close of trading on Euronext Brussels, giving the Mont-Saint-Guibert-based company a market value of 155.2 million euros ($209.1 million). More than 544,000 shares were traded, 38 times the three-month daily average. The stock has surged 78 percent in the past eight trading days.

Mesoblast Ltd., an Australian company that’s using similar technology, rose to an eight-month high on Nov. 1 after saying it gained Food and Drug Administration approval to start a late-stage study with its partner, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, of its stem cell in patients with heart failure.

That development “makes us quite confident in seeing the technology as an emerging one, and more than that, an approvable one,” Arnaud Guerin, an analyst with Portzamparc Societe de Bourse in Nantes, France, said by phone today.

February 22, 2013

Highlights of Mayo Clinic's 2012 financials

Here are a few random, fun facts from Mayo Clinic's 2012 financials:


800px-Gonda_building,_closer_up• Spent on charity care: $83.4 million, up from $61.8 million in 2011.

• Spent to support Medicaid: $321.7 million, up from $260.4 million in 2011.

• Revenue from retail pharmacy sales: $149 million, up from $134 million in 2011.

• Revenue from technology commercialization, health information and medical products: $34.1 million, down from $40.4 million in 2011.

• Revenue from cafeteria sales: $28.8 million, down from $30.3 million in 2011.

• Cash and cash equivalents: $59.6 million, down from $141.3 million in 2011

• Earned incentive from federal government for introducing electronic medical records: $44.7 million

February 21, 2013

S&P lowers Mayo Clinic outlook on "weaker" performance

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its outlook on debt issued by and for Mayo Clinic, citing Mayo's "weaker operating performance" in 2012 and unexpected debts.

800px-Gonda_building,_closer_up"We revised the outlook to negative to reflect our opinion of Mayo Clinic's weaker operating performance, especially in the second half of 2012, and additional debt with this issue, which we did not expect and did not include in our last rating analysis," said S&P credit analyst Martin Arrick in a statement issued today. "In addition, Mayo Clinic had to absorb multiple impacts from a sharply lower pension discount rate for the second straight year that, in turn, drove large pension contributions limiting growth in unrestricted cash and investment and lowering unrestricted net assets while raising pro forma leverage to levels we consider high for the rating."

Download S&P rating of Mayo

S&P reaffirmed Mayo's AA long-term rating on Mayo's $300 million series 2013 taxable bonds and reaffirmed ratings on other debt issued for, or guaranteed by, Mayo, according to the statement. The reaffirmed ratings were based on the clinic's "solid revenue growth," debt service coverage and growth in unrestricted reserves.

But the statement says Mayo's "overall leverage and unrestricted net assets were hurt by the very large pension charge for the second year in a row due to a lower discount rate. Nevertheless, net patient service revenues and revenues overall improved significantly, as did unrestricted reserves despite a large cash contribution to the pension plan."

Mayo officials have scheduled a press conference to discuss its 2012 financial results for Wednesday in Rochester.

December 06, 2012

Big Blue retirement plan changes has workers seeing red

Big Blue's change to their 401(k) retirement plans has some IBM employees seeing red.

IBM sent staff a notice this week that in 2013 it will cease paying into their 401(k) plans semi-monthly with every paycheck. Instead, the matching discretionary contributions will be made just once at the end of the year.

IBM buildinglogoWhile that on its own has a pro-union group organizing a petition of protest, IBM added the rule that workers must be employed on Dec. 15 to get the annual 401(k)matching payment.

That means, a employee laid off in November 2013 would not get their annual 401k payment from IBM.

"The problem is, that as everyone knows, IBM has job cuts all year long," says Lee Conrad, spokesman for the Alliance@IBM. "We're asking IBM to reverse this decision, because it financially compromises all IBM employees, even the ones who are not laid off."

For its part, IBM is saying that its 401(k) plans are still better than most companies and this change is necessary keep up with the increasingly stiff competition in the technology industry.

IBM lot"IBM’s 401k plans remain among the best in the industry – and the country," stated the company in a response release by spokesman Doug Shelton. "This change reflects our continuing commitment to invest in our employee 401(k) plans while maintaining business competitiveness in a challenging economic environment."

The plan, which is considered generous by most companies, gives employees hired prior to 2005 get a dollar-for-dollar match up to six percent of eligible pay. People hired since then get up to a 5 percent match.

If the employee is eligible, IBM will make automatic contributions to their plan, even if the employee doesn't participate. The amount of automatic contribution earned depends on the pension plan that an employee qualified as of December 2007.

No matter how generous the plan, this is not not positive change for employees who have counted on those semi-monthly payments throughout the year, says Conrad.

"This is IBM is just hanging onto the money as long as they can," he says.

The Alliance@IBM, which is pro-union group, expects to soon have a petition ready for employees and their families to sign. It is hard to say how much interest that will attract given IBM eIbm-logomployees' well known reluctance to publicly defy the company for fear of losing their jobs.

It is hard to say how this change could impact IBM's Rochester campus and its unknown number of employees. For many years, IBM has declined to say how many people it employs here or elsewhere. The last official IBM tally of its workers in Rochester was 4,200 way back at the end of 2008. There have been many layoffs euphemistically called "resource actions" by the technology giant.

While IBM is commonly believed to be Rochester's second-largest employer behind Mayo Clinic, there is no evidence to prove that is still true.

August 20, 2012

Mayo Clinic's $300 million bonds get 'AA' rating

Here's some from a piece in today's on Mayo Clinic's latest bond issue to raise $300 million.


A $300 million series of bonds being issued by Mayo Clinic garnered an AA rating from the Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

The ratings firm ruled this week that Mayo Clinic's outlook for the future remains strong, and thus gave the $300 million series 2012B taxable revenue bonds the positive rating. The bond series is scheduled to mature Nov. 15, 2046.

800px-Gonda_building,_closer_up"It will be used by the major capital projects that we have approved by the board and we have planned into the future," says Mayo Clinic Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bolton.

The rating is the second highest rating, behind only AAA, in Standard & Poor's system. A rating of AA means "very strong capacity to meet financial commitments," S&P says.

Mayo Clinic had planned to issue this round of bonds early next year, but the current interest rates convinced that it would better to go ahead and pull the trigger now.

Standard & Poor's believes Mayo Clinic's outlook remains strong.

"Since we raised the long-term ratings on Mayo Clinic to 'AA' from 'AA-' in April 2011, the health care system has performed extremely well operationally, and posted excellent performance in 2011 from all its major revenue areas, including clinical services and research, as well as very strong fundraising," stated Standard & Poor's credit analyst Martin Arrick in the rating announcement.

"The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Mayo Clinic's operating performance, while not as strong as in 2011, will continue to be adequate to support the rating as the clinic's growing footprint and management's continued operational vigilance should allow for sufficient cash flow to maintain balance sheet strength and support capital plans."

This follows Standard & Poor's AA rating of a $200 million tax exempt bond issue that Mayo Clinic did earlier this year through the City of Rochester.

Bolton says this latest bond series will bring Mayo Clinic's total outstanding debt to $2.4 billion.

"We have really been able to position our debt portfolio, given the current environment, very advantageously. We have been working very hard at that," says Bolton.