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VOL. 123 | NO. 13 | Friday, January 18, 2008

Noonan & Assocs. Triples Services

By Eric Smith

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Gregory A. Noonan & Associates Inc.

Consulting for financial services industry

With only one person on the payroll, it wasn't too difficult for the Germantown-based consulting firm of Gregory A. Noonan & Associates Inc. to triple in size.

But company founder, president and sole employee Greg Noonan figured the addition of two more minds helping solve the problems of financial institutions was crucial for future success, so he formed an alliance with independent consultants Kimber Salim of Memphis and Ann Sharber of Dallas.

Pooling the trio's talents should make Noonan's company more robust, more productive and more resourceful, he said.

"Three heads are always better than one," Noonan said. "I've done hundreds of projects throughout my career and solved many business problems for executives. You always take a team approach and you always use the skill sets and strengths of other people to do that. If you try to do that on your own, you can only get so far."

On his own, Noonan has come pretty far since forming Gregory A. Noonan & Associates Inc. in September 2005. His company offers consulting services to banks and credit unions that range in size from de novo to more than $50 billion in assets - as well as everything in between.

Noonan has helped complete mergers and acquisitions, manage small and large projects, and improve financial outlooks for 20 institutions locally and nationally.

And because of what's happened to banks and mortgage companies lately, Noonan said now is the time to ramp up resources and brace for a potential shakeup in the financial industry, including further bank consolidation.

"With the recent credit issues that have come out this past fall - and should continue well into 2008 - and with the current economic situation, there will be some companies that will pull back on their expenditures," Noonan said. "In some cases, that may not be the appropriate thing to do."

Instead, Noonan said, financial institutions should consider a host of options, including the use of external resources for targeted opportunities - whether related to efficiency or financial management - to improve earnings.

Having additional staff to help with these projects and more will yield better solutions for clients.

"I don't know whether (consolidation) will materialize, but from a buy or sell perspective, if bank executives are looking for an assessment or an indication or some judgment from us, having these additional resources positions me to provide that," Noonan said. "We hope organizations will look to us if they've got an initiative or project that's either headed toward growth or efficiency."

Noonan, who has 25 years' experience with financial institutions, is bringing Salim and Sharber aboard after his one-person company enjoyed explosive growth in a short amount of time.

"As referrals picked up and more and more business came in the door, I just saw a need to expand," Noonan said. "I've been planning this over the last six months, and now I'm heading into the year with a couple of extra people who can help me handle the project load."

The extra people bring a wealth of knowledge with them. Salim, a former assistant vice president in private banking for Regions Morgan Keegan, provides Noonan with analytical skills aimed at helping smaller companies improve their returns-on-investment.

And Sharber, a certified public accountant with more than 30 years' experience, provides Noonan with expertise in the field of bank operations as well as additional contacts in the Dallas area.

"When you look at these two people, they're extremely talented on their own," Noonan said. "When you bring all three of us together, we know each other and we've worked with each other before, so it's really exciting to get the three of us together to work on expanding the business.

"It really positions us to grow the business and expand. And as we expand, we'll add more resources as we need to."

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