That's Continuity

WebsterBank CEO James C. Smith had a couple of things to celebrate this week.

The Waterbury, Conn., bank, which had taken $400 million from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, repaid another $100 million to the government Wednesday without having to raise replacement capital, bringing its Tarp balance down to $200 million.

And on Monday, the Webster Financial Corp. unit turns 75 years old.

Smith, only the second CEO in the company's history — the first was his father, Harold Webster Smith, who started the institution as the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Waterbury — said he sees plenty of parallels between the bank's beginnings and the latest crisis.

"It's the biggest challenge the bank has been through since it was founded in 1935 after the last major round of financial reform," said Smith, who succeeded his father as CEO in 1987. He became chairman in 1995, and that year renamed the company WebsterBank in honor of his dad.

I'm Not Done Yet

Bud Baker is set to be added to the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame.

Baker, who as chief executive of Wachovia Corp. orchestrated the company's sale to First Union Corp. in 2001, is one of three executives to be honored at a reception Nov. 18 in Charlotte. Baker retired from the company, which kept the Wachovia name, two years later, but he resurfaced in August as part of a group looking to capitalize Park Sterling Bank in Charlotte. Baker is set to become Park Sterling's chairman.

Changing Teams

Bank of America Corp. is building on the expression "it takes one to know one."

In this case, B of A has hired Ken Wade, a former nonprofit chief executive, to further improve the company's relationships with community groups. Wade, who was named senior community affairs executive, had been the CEO of NeighborWorks America, which offers financial and technical assistance to community development nonprofits.

Wade, whose background includes work with affordable housing and foreclosure mitigation, will report to Andrew Plepler, the Charlotte company's global head of corporate social responsibility and consumer policy.

Plepler said in a press release that Wade will help B of A by "collaborating with our internal teams and working closely with key external stakeholders" in areas such as community development and consumer policy. He added that Wade would have a critical role as the company shifts to a more consumer-friendly business model. …

Speaking of B of A, banking analyst Erika Penala is coming back into the fold at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, where she will cover a variety of large, mid-cap and small-cap U.S. banks, working closely with the firm's money-center banks analyst, Guy Moszkowski.

Penala had been a small-cap banks analyst at the firm for five years until mid-2009, when she joined UBS AG's investment bank as a director covering mid- and small-cap banks.

For Real This Time?

Frank Gusmus is retiring from First Horizon National Corp. — again.

Gusmus, who came out of partial retirement two years ago to oversee the restructuring of the company's capital markets business, is retiring for good at the end of March. First Horizon announced Tuesday that Michael Kisber, currently the director of fixed-income capital markets, is expected to become the president of unit FTN Financial on Jan. 1.

Shooting Back

The actor Larry Hagman has won $11.5 million in a securities arbitration case against Citigroup Global Markets Inc., according to a ruling on Wednesday by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel.

The sum includes $10 million in punitive damages that the Citigroup unit must pay to charities that Hagman chooses. Hagman, along with various trusts and individual retirement accounts titled in his name, filed the case in May 2009, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, civil fraud and misrepresentation and lack of supervision. The claims arose from "unspecified securities" in accounts held with Citigroup and also the purchase of a life insurance policy, according to the ruling.

Hagman is best known for playing J.R. Ewing in the 1980s hit television series "Dallas."

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