Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Proposed Bank Selects City for HQ

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Proposed Bank Selects City for HQ

Article excerpt

Jacksonville will be the headquarters of a fledgling new banking

company that hopes to operate across Florida.

The new company, which is so new that its using a temporary

name, Florida Bank Holdings Inc., is headed by Charles E. Hughes

Jr. The new name will be announced in about a week.

The new company is taking aim at bank customers who prefer to

do their banking at smaller institutions rather than at the

three mega-banks that have more than three-quarters of consumer

bank deposits in Florida.

"We think that is a niche that is going to serve us well,"

Hughes said.

Hughes is a veteran Jacksonville banker who announced this week

that he has left his job as chairman and chief executive officer

of Jacksonvillebased SouthTrust Bank of Florida. The bank is

owned by SouthTrust Corp. of Birmingham, Ala., which has not

named a successor to Hughes yet.

Hughes said his objective is to buy or start from scratch

community banks in two markets per year for the next five years.

"We are interested in Orlando, we are interested in Tampa, we

are interested in Jacksonville, we are interested in Fort

Lauderdale, Palm Beach, those areas," he said.

Hughes said he has signed a letter of intent to buy a community

bank on Florida's west coast, but did not identify it.

The new company will be headquartered in Jacksonville and will

have a very small staff to begin with -- maybe half a dozen

people, he said, adding that a broker is looking for space.

But the first task is to raise money.

"I believe we will do that in the next two or three months,"

Hughes said.

He would not say whether the new company will raise money from

private investors or sell shares to the public.

The organizing group that Hughes has joined is made up of M.G.

Sanchez, a Pompano Beach banker who made money selling a bank

some years ago to First Union; T. Stephen Johnson & Associates

of Atlanta, which made its money brokering bank sales and

consulting; and Robin Kelton, a British investor who lives in

New York and London. …

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