Centier Bank is locating its second Fort Wayne branch downtown

Centier Bank scheduled a Jan. 13 grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration for a second Fort Wayne branch it has opened downtown at 803 S. Calhoun St., Suite 100.

Centier Bank planned to open a second Fort Wayne branch in the city’s downtown district on Jan. 6.

The Merrillville-based bank, which has a Fort Wayne location on Dupont Circle Drive, announced late last month plans to open a branch at 803 S. Calhoun St., Suite 100.

“We are thrilled to bring hometown banking and world-class service to downtown Fort Wayne,” Centier’s Dan Beechy said in an announcement.

“We are eager to create a personalized banking experience to fit the needs of our clients in downtown Fort Wayne,” said Beechy, who will manage the downtown branch.

“Our enthusiastic associates look forward to giving back to the community through volunteerism, treasure, and other means of philanthropic outreach in the spirit of Centier’s servant heart culture.”

With free Wi-Fi access and a coffee bar for clients to enjoy while doing their banking, the branch will provide office space for both retail and business bankers.

“Downtown Fort Wayne is an evolving and bustling community, which makes Centier Bank a natural fit,” Michael Schrage, Centier’s president and CEO, said in the announcement.

“We look forward to demonstrating to local businesses, families, and community partners why Centier Bank is the premiere bank of northern Indiana, and strengthening our established relationships in the Fort Wayne area by providing a convenient banking location.”

The bank entered the Michiana market in 2004 and opened its first Fort Wayne branch in a Kroger supermarket in 2008. That banking center was relocated about three years ago.

Centier operates other Michiana banking centers in Elkhart, Goshen, Plymouth and South Bend.

It attached a huge bow in “Centier blue” to the exterior of the downtown building to prepare it for a grand opening and ribbon cutting event it has scheduled for Jan. 13.

In other Centier news, the bank presented a $500 community donation to Byron Health Center in Fort Wayne to support its annual Gift Angels fund, which provides its residents with holiday gifts.

The center offers assisted living and long-term, memory and respite care as well as skilled nursing rehabilitation services.

“To be a part of Centier is to be a part of an overarching giving spirit, and we are always looking for ways where we can help,” Jena Gump, manager of its branch at 10315 Dupont Circle Drive West, said in an announcement.

“Byron Health Center is a wonderful organization that improves the lives of so many people in our community.”

Volunteers use the Gift Angels fund to purchase personalized gifts for residents they “adopt,” and the Centier contribution funded about 33 gifts.

Ash repurchases equity from Century Equity Partners

Ash Brokerage has bought back a minority stake held in the company by Century Equity Partners, according to an announcement which did not disclose terms of the transaction.

Boston-based Century invested in Ash in September 2017 with plans to work in partnership with it on a series of strategic acquisitions, which eventually included Ash purchases of Zenith Marketing Group in March 2018, Target Insurance Services in November 2018 and Bell & Associates Consulting last September.

“The plan was always for Century to exit when the time was right,” Tim Ash, CEO for the Fort Wayne-based independent insurance brokerage general agency, said in a news release.

“Looking at our success over the last three years, our partnership with Century allowed us to reach new markets and cultivate deeper relationships,” he said.

“It was an exciting phase of growth, and we are thankful for their partnership. Today we’re moving into a new decade with a renewed focus on providing an exceptional experience for our advisors, their clients, and the communities we all serve.”

Ash was an excellent partner because its leadership team consistently drives to exceed ambitious goals it sets while doing what’s right for clients, employees and the community, Stephen Marquardt, Century’s managing director, said in the announcement.

With greater scale, Ash said the brokerage is ready to continue its growth in an increasingly complex operating and regulatory environment as a fully independent, closely held company.

“We have no plans of slowing down,” Jason Grover, Ash president, said in the announcement.

“As we approach 50 years of operations, we’ve made investments back into our business to uniquely position us for continued growth. 2019 was our most successful year ever no matter how you measure it, in terms of lives impacted and total sales.”

1st Source awards groups $100,000

South Bend-based 1st Source Bank awarded $100,000 in grant funding to several organizations in the Fort Wayne area last year, including a number of multi-year pledges designed to continue support for the groups into the future.

“1st Source Bank is proud to support so many incredible local organizations,” Larry Mayers, president for 1st Source Bank’s Fort Wayne Region, said in an announcement last month.

“As a bank dedicated to community leadership, it’s part of our culture to support the organizations that are making an impact across our area. The work these groups are doing is vital to the well-being of so many people across our community, and it’s our honor to assist them in doing so,” he said.

Recipients of the funding included Blue Jacket, Inc.; Community Transportation Network; Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc.; Homebound Meals, Inc.; Pathfinder Services; Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana; the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne.

“CTN is very grateful to 1st Source Bank for their support of our efforts to provide dependable and efficient transportation,” Justin Clupper, CTN’ss executive director, said in the announcement. “Their grant supporting our garage expansion campaign will leave a lasting impact on our service.”

“Blue Jacket is always humbled and excited when 1st Source Bank steps into a deeper relationship with us,” Tony Hudson, Blue Jacket’s executive director, said in the announcement.

“Our mission transcends job training and placement, especially during this holiday season because we provide hope to any job-seeker with a barrier to employment. This grant strengthens our ability to help restore self-worth to someone who may feel isolated, disorganized with life, or just down on their luck because we help people get jobs and we’ve done that for thousands of people since 2005.”

The Rescue Mission has been truly blessed by the community support it received last year, Donovan Coley, its CEO and senior pastor, said in the announcement.

“We are so thankful for our friends at 1st Source and everything they have done for The Rescue Mission, and grateful for their dedication to building a stronger community. Our friends at 1st Source are a shining example of what God has called us all to do and we are so very blessed to have their support,” he said.

“We are so grateful for the tremendous support 1st Source Bank continues to provide to Junior Achievement across the region,” Lena Yarian, the organization’s president, said in the announcement.

“1st Source puts a priority on financial literacy through both its monetary commitment but also through the many volunteers who so generously spend time with the students in the classroom helping them to be able to own their future financial success.”

Veteran reporter Doug LeDuc joined Business Weekly in 2006 and primarily covers banking and finance and technology. You can send information for his weekly column to dleduc@kpcmedia.com or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3309.

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