Plans are under way for a new community bank in Nashua. A group of investors, many of whom are financial industry veterans, are forming a new bank targeted at small to medium-size businesses in the greater Nashua area. CBTBE, which stands for “community bank to be established,” is the holding company, though its investors and advisors are tossing around ideas for the name of the new bank and scouting locations.
Leading the team is Laura (Jacobi) Mower (pictured), former senior vice president and CFO of Lake Sunapee Bank in Newport, which was acquired by Maine-based Bar Harbor Bank & Trust in 2017. “Our primary focus will be serving small businesses, those overlooked by larger banks because their volume is not high enough or their industry or market is not understood,” Mower says.
Central to the service model is being headquartered in the community, not just having a branch, she says. “Our people making the decisions will live and work in the greater Nashua community. They understand the markets and challenges; they may even know the customers already.”
G. Frank Teas (pictured), president and CEO of CBTBE, formed The Nashua Bank in 2006, which was eventually acquired by Lake Sunapee Bank. He says they expect CBTBE to remain independent. “We feel there is an unmet need, and we have a plan to meet it,” Teas says. “If we execute our plan appropriately, we should be able to provide a return to the shareholders, increase the book value and remain independent.”
Teas says they are intentional about selecting the people who serve on the board. The initial members include John Stabile, founder and chairman of The Stabile Companies; Lorin Rydstrom, founder of Seaboard International Forest Products; Jack Law, owner and operator of The Law Companies; Gerry Gartner, who started and owned several manufacturing companies in the region; developer Peter Nash; Jack Tulley, retired CEO of Tulley Automotive Group; and Peter Tamposi, an attorney with the Tamposi Law Group. Four recent additions—Alan Kirby, a retired IT executive; Tracy Hall, president and CEO of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce; Loyd Dollins, former president and CEO of Granite Bank; and David Petropulos, director of finance at Etchstone Properties—will bring specific strengths to the board, Teas says.
“Alan is an IT expert around to leverage technology; Tracy has expertise at the local and state level and understands the business needs of folks in and around Nashua. I can’t think of anyone more qualified to make sure we are serving business’s needs,” Teas says. “Loyd brings a wealth of banking knowledge to help the board understand the day-to-day stuff and guide the bank to success.”
To engage the younger demographic, Mower, a graduate of Leadership NH, is forming an advisory group independent of the board. “These up-and-coming professionals will serve as ambassadors and the eyes and ears to help us determine what their generation needs, wants and expects from a bank,” Mower says.
She is also developing internship programs with local high schools and universities. “It is a pretty unique opportunity. How often does someone get to be a part of the startup of a bank?” Mower says. “We have also reached out to establish financial literacy classes. We feel financial management, savings, and use of credit are key educational concepts.”
Teas says they plan to open summer 2019. For more information, visit cbtbe.com.