Two Atlanta-based bank consulting firms have merged to form LSI Partners Inc.
Bretton Woods Group Inc. and Leadership Solutions Inc. recently tied the knot to meet the growing demands of community bankers.
Atlanta-based LSI is headed up by Charles Hinely, a 25-year banking veteran who was previously the chief executive of BMR Financial Group, an Atlanta-based bank holding company.
The new firm, which has four partners and 15 associates, projects $5 million in revenues by 1996.
"With the major changes and consolidations going on in the financial services industry, many companies don't have the resources to assist them in dealing with the pressures to be acquired, to increase shareholder value, or to improve their organizational effectiveness," Mr. Hinely said. "We provide that solution."
The firm, which opened for business in mid-September, will focus much of its attention on "process reengineering," an industry buzzword that refers to over-hauling an institution's operational and organizational structure.
Cost-containment strategies, financial advice, and better use of technology will constitute some of the areas where the firm can offer assistance. The ultimate objective, of course, is to improve bank performance and shareholder value, according to the firm's partners.
Gerald G. Kaufman, the former president of Bretton Woods, said the two firms decided to merge in pan because of the natural synergy between them.
"We had all worked together," said Mr. Kaufman, who brings 20 years of financial services experience to the firm. "We then went our separate ways to different consulting firms. But we found in getting back in touch with each other that we had a lot in common."
Mr. Hinely and Mr. Kaufman worked together in the early 1970s at Citizens and Southern National Bank in Atlanta. Robert H. Taylor, another partner, worked with Mr. Kaufman at Bretton Woods and later with Mr. Hinely at BMR. The fourth partner, Michael Collum, is a co-founder with Mr. Hinely of Leadership Solutions.
The firm, which will cater to small banks as well as holding companies with up to $5 billion of assets, currently has six clients in the Southeast and Southwest. It expects to do business nationwide.