TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Dr. M. Lee Pearce, prominent investor in Florida banks, has formed an investment banking firm with Cliff Hinkle, former director of the state of Florida's $41 billion pension and investment fund.
Dr. Pearce, who has been the largest single shareholder in such companies as AmeriFirst Federal Savings Bank of Miami and the defunct Southeast Banking Corp., will be the firm's chairman. Mr. Hinkle will be president and chief executive officer.
Named the Flagler Capital Corp., the firm is expected to open with $100 million in investment money, Mr. Hinkle said.
Dr. Pearce founded Bank of North America in 1990. Through acquisitions of failed thrifts it has grown to $500 million in assets and 10 branches.