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VOL. 130 | NO. 104 | Friday, May 29, 2015

Paragon Bank Reports Highlights, Decisive Turn at Annual Shareholders Meeting

By Andy Meek

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2014 proved a milestone year for Paragon Bank: The now 10-year-old institution saw a few decisive changes, the bank’s leadership reported at its annual shareholders meeting in recent days.

Those changes include the bank’s conversion to a state-chartered institution, the establishment of the Paragon Small Business Capital Group and the completion of the Paragon Wealth Management team.

Those were among the highlights recapped by Paragon CEO Robert Shaw, chief financial officer Lewis Perkins and president and chief operating officer Mike Edwards, who all presented a list of accomplishments and financials from the past year, as well as strategic priorities for 2015.

2014 proved a milestone year for Paragon Bank during which the now 10-year-old institution saw a few decisive changes, the bank’s leadership – including CEO Robert Shaw, shown – reported at its recent annual shareholders meeting.


At the annual meeting, official shareholder business included re-electing Napoleon Cassibry III, Michael Edwards, Robert Hussey III, John Novarese Jr. and Pete Stark to the bank’s board. Crowe Horwath also was ratified as the independent registered public accounting firm for 2015.

Among the year’s highlights: loans were up 8.6 percent over the previous year, the second year that marked a more than 8 percent increase in total loans. Paragon’s mortgage banking income was down 28 percent during the year; the bank said that’s compared to a nationwide mortgage market drop of 39 percent.

Paragon leaders also said the bank has outperformed the national mortgage market over the last three years. Excluding that mortgage income, core noninterest income grew 14 percent. And during the first three months of 2015, a stronger mortgage market as well as revenue from the Paragon Small Business Capital Group helped core noninterest income grow about 96 percent over the first quarter of 2014.

“The tremendous efforts of our board members and team led to a strong 2014 and first quarter,” Shaw said. “The decisive changes we made in 2014, which we are calling a turning point, will lead to substantial improvement in future earnings.”

For the rest of 2015, the bank’s focus will be on “prudent” loan growth, Shaw said, maximizing its net interest margin and core noninterest income, maintaining asset quality, improving its operating efficiency and executing the business plan for the new Small Business Capital Group.

Other highlights for the year: Revenue from the Paragon Small Business Capital Group grew from $38,000 during the fourth quarter of 2014 to $207,000 during the first quarter of 2015. Setting aside startup expenses for the Paragon Small Business Capital Group, pre-tax net income for 2014 was 78 percent higher than 2013 pre-tax income.

The bank also last year provided more than 600 hours of service through its Assisting the Community through Service program. Through ACTS, Paragon employees are granted 40 hours of paid time to support local, regional and national nonprofit organizations of their choosing.

To coincide with the bank’s first decade of existence, Paragon also has scheduled a year-long “#10for10” campaign that features a slate of celebratory events in honor of its anniversary and community-focused mission. Those events kicked off with the bank sponsoring the Germantown Chamber Gala, as well as hosting an open house at Paragon’s Fountain Place banking center, at 5400 Poplar Ave., and later a St. Agnes Academy art show at the Fountain Place location.

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270