Depping to Sell Bank, Get Back into Leasing without bank regulation

He lost being CEO of bank, although Main Street was doing well, according to the June Bank Beat story:

Home of Tom Depping, formerly head of Sierra Cities-Financial (sold to American Express, then sold to Key Equipment Finance) and Main Street Bank once very active in equipment leases and medical loans, after an order from the FDIC to make changes, lets go most of the leasing department including head Bob Fisher, but keeps a limited Studebaker-Worthington group… things have settled down, including down to 77 full time employees from 2009 where there were 120 full time employees.

Bank total equity capital is up from $43.5 million year-end 2010 to $47.5 million March 31, 2011.

Profit was $1.5 million year-end 2010 and the first quarter $620,000, definitely headed in the right direction, also with a current Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of $23.5% (under 5% is to be watched, 10% considered very good, and over 20% is just plain excellent (and may also reflect a more conservative position.)

On the negative side, the noncurrent loans were almost $2 million year-end 2010, but the first quarter stand at $4.9 million, more than double for the first quarter; charge offs are also up from year-end $445,000 ($320,000 in commercial and industrial loans and $125,000 in lease financing receivables) to a first quarter charge offs of $674,000 ($345,000 in commercial and industrial loan) and $325,000 in lease financing receivables.)

Except for the rise in noncurrent loans, nothing to be overly concerned about, especially with the capital available and seeming more conservative control; remember 2009 saw $2.7 million in lease financing charge offs and $4.2 million in commercial and industrial loans.

While one of the FDIC orders was for Depping to step aside as CEO and President of the bank, which he has, the web site does not show the position being filled, although Tom Depping is Chairman of the Bank and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MS Financial.


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Vulcan Capital and LKCM Capital Group Launch New Lender to Small Businesses

Ascentium Capital to Focus on Small-Balance Commercial Loans and Leases

KINGWOOD, Texas---Ascentium Capital today announced its launch as a lender focused on the important but underserved market for small-balance commercial loans and leases in the United States. Ascentium Capital is backed by Vulcan Capital, the private investment group of Paul G. Allen, and a group of investors led by LKCM Capital Group, LLC (“LKCM”), the alternative investment vehicle for Luther King Capital Management.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to meet the lending needs of small businesses. We believe Tom and his team are well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity given their outstanding long-term track record and proven commitment to high standards of integrity and customer service”

Ascentium Capital will acquire a $150 million portfolio of commercial loans and leases from Main Street Bank (“Main Street”), as well as a state of the art small business origination and servicing platform. Separately, Main Street has reached an agreement to sell its branches and deposits to Green Bank, N.A. Following the completion of the sale of assets to Ascentium Capital and the branch/deposit sale, Main Street will liquidate and terminate its banking charter. Ascentium Capital does not intend to operate under a banking charter.

Ascentium Capital will be initially capitalized with $75 million of equity and a $250 million warehouse facility led by UBS Investment Bank. The company will also have access to an additional $35 million of equity capital to fund future growth. Ascentium Capital will be headquartered in the Houston metropolitan area of Kingwood, Texas, and led by the existing Main Street senior management team, including Chairman Tom Depping. The company will originate loans and leases through a national sales staff that will work with equipment manufacturers, distributors and resellers, as well as vendors, franchisors and selected equipment lease brokers.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to meet the lending needs of small businesses. We believe Tom and his team are well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity given their outstanding long-term track record and proven commitment to high standards of integrity and customer service,” said Geoff McKay, a managing director of Vulcan Capital.

"In an environment of ongoing economic and regulatory uncertainty, it is important that lenders continue to find ways to meet the strong demand for small-balance commercial loans and leases," said Bryan King, managing partner of LKCM Capital Group. "Ascentium Capital will allow us to partner with a wide range of small businesses, providing them with necessary growth capital unavailable through other resources."

“We appreciate that Vulcan, LKCM and our other partners recognize the significant opportunity and growth potential in lending to small businesses outside of the traditional bank model,” said Tom Depping. “These small businesses need to access capital quickly, efficiently and at competitive rates. Ascentium Capital brings a seasoned team of small business lenders with specialized services, lending flexibility, and the support of our strong partners to meet the needs of small businesses. We will also look to make acquisitions, purchase portfolios and add small business originators and brokers to our platform.”

Ascentium Capital’s senior management team brings over 80 years of combined experience in commercial lending. Depping joined Main Street Bank in 2004, helping the bank become a national leader in providing equipment financing throughout the country. Previously, Depping founded First Sierra Financial, Inc., a publicly-held small-business finance company with more than $3 billion assets under management, which was acquired by American Express in 2001.

Milestone Advisors, LLC, served as the financial advisors to Main Street Bank for the transaction.

About Ascentium Capital
Ascentium Capital specializes in providing financial solutions to open new avenues for growth and profit for small businesses located nationwide. The company offers a wide variety of equipment loans and leases including financing for medical, computer, office, and specialty vehicles originated from vendors and distributors of small ticket equipment. The Ascentium Capital website is located at

About Vulcan Capital
Vulcan Capital was formed in 2003 and is headquartered in Seattle, WA. The firm serves as the investment arm of Vulcan Inc., the organization founded by Paul G. Allen in 1986 to manage his personal and professional endeavors. Vulcan Capital invests across all stages of corporate development through leveraged buyouts, growth capital, distressed/turnaround, and early-stage venture capital as well as public equity value investing. The firm's portfolio spans a range of industry sectors, including media and communications, energy and natural resources, financial and information services, technology, and life sciences. For more information, please visit

About LKCM Capital Group, LLC
LKCM Capital Group, LLC is the alternative investment vehicle for Luther King Capital Management, an SEC registered investment advisory firm founded by J. Luther King, Jr. in 1979. LKCM provides investment advisory services to high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments, investment companies, pension and profit sharing plans, trusts and estates, and other organizations. At June 30, 2011, LKCM had approximately $9.0 billion in assets under management.

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