Paragon Reports Profitability During Ninth Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

Paragon Financial Solutions, Inc. hosted its annual shareholders’ meeting at the Paragon Bank Fountain Place Banking Center on June 17. During the meeting, CEO Robert Shaw, President and COO Mike Edwards and CFO Lewis Perkins presented the bank’s 2013 achievements and other financials, as well as the strategic priorities for the coming year.

The meeting opened with official shareholder business, including the re-election of Dr. James F. Freeman, Lauren Boggs McHugh, Christian J. Saenger and Robert S. Shaw, Jr. to the Board of Directors. Shaw stated that the 2014 Stock Option Plan was approved. Crowe Horwath was also authorized as Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm for 2014.

Following the completion of official business, Shaw, Edwards and Perkins reviewed the bank’s progress in accomplishing 2013 goals, which included maintenance of strong capital positions, increased loan volume and a significant reduction in Paragon’s nonperforming assets.

Paragon maintained a strong capital position and as of March 31, 2014, the bank’s Tier 1 Leverage Ratio, Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio and Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio were 10.65%, 14.51% and 15.77% respectively. Furthermore, as of December 31, Paragon’s book value increased to $7.85, with a stock price increase of 50%.

The bank had a solid year in core deposit generation, including an increase in demand deposits, interest-bearing checking deposits, savings account deposits and money market deposits. Overall, core deposits increased 7% for the year.

Paragon successfully reduced its nonperforming assets by 47% in 2013. Additionally, classified assets, which include loans recognized to have weaknesses and bank-owned real estate, have decreased 63% since their peak and decreased 25% during 2013. This accomplishment will not only improve the bank’s net interest margin, which is already trending up after the first quarter of 2014, but it will also reduce non-interest expenses and create a reduction in general expenses for the bank. Since December of 2008, Paragon has disposed of more than $50 million in nonperforming assets, with an 85% recovery rate.

While Paragon focused on reducing its nonperforming assets, it was also able to decrease non-interest expense for 2013. During the year, Paragon experienced an 8% increase in loans and assets, with a growth of $15 million in total loans as of December 31. The bank also garnered an increase in pre-tax income of 61%.

“We’re proud of the efforts our board members and team made in 2013,” said Shaw. “Those efforts are reflected in our sustained profitability and the investment in our customers and the community. In 2014, we’ll continue to maintain asset quality, improve net interest margin and operating efficiency, and focus on our corporate growth plan.”

Other highlights for the year included the launch of Paragon Wealth, a division of Paragon Bank, and the company’s continued commitment to nonprofit and community organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South, Neighborhood Christian Center, Memphis Child Advocacy Center and Community Lift. 

Paragon Reports Continued Profitability During Eighth Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

Paragon National Bank announced at its annual shareholders’
meeting that it has maintained profitability over the last nine quarters.
During the May 14th meeting at the bank’s Fountain Place location,
attendees heard CEO Robert Shaw, President Mike Edwards and CFO Lewis Perkins
present the bank’s other key accomplishments and financials from last year, as
well as the areas of focus for 2013.

The meeting opened with official business, including the
election/re-election of Napoleon L. Cassibry III; Glenn W. Cofield; James F.
Freeman MD; Robert J. Hussey III; Mary H. McDaniel; Lauren Boggs McHugh; John
T. Novarese, Jr.; Edwin S. Roberson; Christian J. Saenger; Pete A. Stark and
Craig L. Weiss to the Board of Directors. Crowe Horwath was also ratified as
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm for 2013.

Following the completion of official business, Shaw, Edwards and
Perkins reviewed the bank’s progress on accomplishing three key strategic
priorities in 2012, which included substantially reducing Paragon’s criticized
assets, exceed the year’s operating budget, and maintaining a strong capital
position.

Paragon successfully decreased its criticized assets, which include
loans recognized to have weaknesses and bank-owned real estate, by 49% in 2012.
This accomplishment will not only improve the bank’s net interest margin, it
will also reduce non-interest expenses and create a reduction in general
expenses for the bank in 2013.

While Paragon focused on reducing its criticized assets, it was also
able to exceed the bank’s operating budget for 2012. During the year, Paragon
experienced a 20% reduction in nonperforming assets, which included foreclosed
real estate and loans that stopped accruing interest, with a recovery rate of
87%.

Paragon maintained a strong capital position and as of December 31,
Paragon’s Tier 1 Leverage Ratio, Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio and Total
Risk-Based Capital Ratio were 10.52%, 14.94% and 16.19% respectively.

In 2012, Paragon’s mortgage banking revenue was at an all-time high,
increasing from $580,000 to $1 million. Additionally, the bank had another
strong year in core deposit generation, including an increase in demand
deposits, interest-bearing checking deposits, savings account deposits and
money market deposits. Overall, demand deposits increased more than 14% for the
year.

“We’re pleased with the progress our board members and team have made
during the last year,” said Shaw. “Their efforts are directly reflected in our
sustained profitability over the last nine quarters. In 2013, we’ll continue to
build on our momentum while focusing on further reducing our criticized assets
and continuing to focus on core earnings.”

 

Paragon Reports Positive Momentum During Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

Paragon National Bank announced at its seventh annual shareholders’ meeting that it has maintained profitability over the last five quarters.During the recent meeting at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, attendees listened to CEO Robert Shaw and President Mike Edwards present the bank’s other key accomplishments and financials from last year, as well as the areas of focus for 2012.

Following the completion of official business, Shaw and Edwards reviewed the bank’s progress in meeting 2011 goals, which included aggressively dealing with credit issues, building the core earnings capacity of the bank and increasing loans and deposits through new customer relationships.

Since 2008, Paragon has successfully resolved more than $32 million in nonperforming assets with an 85% recovery rate. Classified assets have decreased 32% since they peaked in 2008 and over the last year,the bank was able to reduce them by more than 21%.

During 2011, Paragon increased its net interest margin from 3.36% to 3.64%. The bank’s core noninterest income increased by 7%, while its core non-interest expense decreased by 5%. Capital ratios have continued to increase without assistance from any government-sponsored programs or loans and as of March 31, the bank’s Tier 1 capital ratio was at 13.85%.

Additionally, the bank focused on repositioning its loan portfolio to include more business lending,resulting in Paragon’s rating as the number one business-lending community bank in Memphis by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Paragon’s allowance for loan losses continues to exceed banks within its peer group.

Paragon’s core deposits have increased and Demand Deposit Accounts (DDA) balances are nearly 16% of the bank’s total assets. Additionally, the bank has seen continued growth in checking account volume,while the total number of those accounts has increased 13%.

“Mike and I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts our board members and team made in 2011,” said Shaw. “Last year, we made it a top priority to reduce our classified assets, while furthering our investment in our customers and the community. Those efforts are directly reflected in our sustained profitability over the last five quarters. In 2012, we’ll continue to place emphasis on substantially reducing our level of classified assets while maintaining a strong capital position and exceeding our operating budget.”

Other highlights for 2011 include the appointment of Lewis Perkins as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, as well as Paragon’s recognition as the 2011 Corporate Neighbor of the Year by Volunteer Mid-South’s Corporate Volunteer Council. The bank continued its involvement with nonprofit and community organizations, including its donation of more than $11,000 and over 1,000 food items to Mid-South Food Bank during its 4th Annual Student Food Drive. Among the other organizations that the bank supported during 2011 include the Memphis-Midsouth Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Midsouth and the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.

Paragon Hosts Shareholders at Annual Meeting

Paragon National Bank held its fourth annual shareholders’ meeting May 12, 2009, at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

Shareholders, directors, and employees convened as President & CEO Robert Shaw presented Paragon’s recent progress, accomplishments, and financials. Official business brought before shareholders was the re-election of Napoleon L. Cassibry III, John T. Novarese, Jr., Robert J. Hussey III, Glenn W. Cofield, and Dee Anna Smith to the Board of Directors.

Shaw discussed Paragon’s accomplishments and challenges in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.  He presented customer service survey results showing an overall increase in customer satisfaction from the previous survey in 2007.  He also noted several awards that the bank received, including securing a finalist position in The Commercial Appeal’s Memphis Most Awards, winning in their division in The Memphis Business Journal’s Best Places to Work Awards, and being honored with an ICBA (Independent Community Bankers of America) Excellence in Advertising Award.  He also noted the opening of the Grove Park Banking Center in January 2009 and enthusiastically stated the bank’s plans to “grow into” the banking centers that they’ve built.

“We continued to engage our customers and the community this year,” said Shaw.  “We co-hosted the third annual Small Business Seminar with The Society of Entrepreneurs, hosted several trust seminars with Chicago Title, and were involved, mostly by employee volunteerism, in over 90 community organizations.”

Shaw discussed the continuing problems facing the banking industry, as well as Paragon’s initiatives to overcome these issues, such as making no more residential construction loans and fewer residential real estate loans, improving loan portfolio performance, maintaining a conservative loan loss reserve, and continuing the current momentum of core deposit growth. 

Annual Meeting Highlights Paragon’s Growth and Accomplishments

Paragon National Bank held its second annual shareholders’ meeting April 26, 2007, at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Shareholders gathered to hear the progress Paragon has made in the past year and plans for 2007.

Robert Shaw, Paragon’s President and CEO, listed the bank’s 2006 accomplishments including the opening of St. Francis Banking Center; the addition of professionals in commercial lending, mortgage lending, cash management, and business development departments; the expansion of Fountain Place office space; awards for the bank’s marketing and advertising campaigns; and the successful completion of Paragon’s secondary stock offering.

Paragon also introduced a new product for its customers, proving that it does not need a banking center on every corner to be convenient. ParaTeller, Paragon’s remote deposit capture product, was introduced to customers in 2006. 

“We could not have enjoyed all of these successes without the hard work of our dedicated employees and board of directors,” said Shaw. “The members of Team Paragon are some of the most talented bankers in the Memphis market. Averaging more than 15 years of experience, they truly understand local banking.”

During 2006, staff members participated in professional development activities, professional organizations, and leadership coaching. Employees have more invested in Paragon than employment, 89% are shareholders owning approximately 15% of the bank.

One of Paragon’s priorities is giving back to the community. Paragon supports a third grade class of students at Hawkins Mill Elementary, granted its second wish for a Make-A-Wish child, and participated in the 2006 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Through financial donations and its employees’ volunteerism, Paragon is proud to support over 65 community foundations and organizations. With the Assisting the Community Through Service (ACTS) program, employees have 40 work hours a year to use to participate in community programs. 

Official business brought before shareholders was the re-election of Dr. James Freeman, Ed Roberson, and Craig Weiss to the Board of Directors and the ratification of Paragon’s independent auditing firm.

During 2006 Paragon’s assets increased 53% from $152.2 million at December 31, 2005 to $233.8 million at December 31, 2006. Paragon’s total assets at March 31, 2007 were $256.4 million. During 2006, loans increased 59%, ending the year at $168.9 million. Deposits increased 63% to $176.4 million. Loans and deposits were at $182.3 million and $202.8 million respectively at March 31, 2007. 

Paragon National Bank is one of the Memphis region’s newest full-service banks. Paragon provides small and mid-sized businesses, their owners and executives with a complete package of business banking solutions delivered online and in person. Organizing at a time when large and distant banks have taken over familiar Memphis institutions, Paragon enjoys the distinction of local ownership, authentic community engagement, and a rapidly expanding staff of experienced banking professionals.

Paragon Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting

Paragon National Bank held its second annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Shareholders gathered to hear the progress Paragon has made in the past year and anticipated growth in 2006.

“Paragon National Bank’s employees are driven by the desire to provide superior customer service,” President and CEO Robert Shaw told shareholders in his opening statements. “We strive to not only meet our customer’s expectations, but to raise those expectations to a new level of excellence.”

Shaw listed the bank’s 2005 accomplishments including the opening of the first two branches, Paragon Place and Fountain Place; the addition of professionals in residential construction lending, aircraft lending and medical banking; and the acquisition of two properties in Germantown for future growth. One of those two sites will be built upon and a new branch opened as early as this fall.

Of the 166 de novo banks chartered in the United States during 2005, Paragon National Bank ranked second in asset growth. Assets have more than tripled since this time last year. The bank’s loan portfolio and assets have both grown steadily over the last year. Our loan portfolio has grown rapidly, Shaw reported, but loan quality has remained high.

Paragon National Bank touts that its employees have an average of 15 years of experience. “Just because Paragon is new in the Memphis banking scene, doesn’t mean our employees are,” Shaw said. “We have placed an emphasis on hiring professionals who are greatly knowledgeable about particular areas of the banking industry.”

The bank’s cutting edge technology was also highlighted. Paragon is a new bank, Shaw said, we can’t afford to have branches all over Memphis. To overcome this obstacle, Paragon has initiated a myriad of technologies including user-friendly Internet banking, remote deposit capture, imaged lockbox and a 24-hour telephone banking system.

One of Paragon’s priorities is giving back to the community. Paragon supports, among others, a second grade class of students at Hawkins Mill Elementary, granted a wish for a Make-A-Wish child and participated in the 2005 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

“We are committed to helping make our community a better place to live,” Shaw said. “Raising expectations not only in business, but in our neighborhoods as well.”  

Paragon National Bank is one of the Memphis region’s newest full-service banks. Paragon provides small and mid-sized businesses, their owners and executives with a complete package of business banking solutions delivered online and in person. Organizing at a time when large and distant banks have taken over familiar Memphis institutions, Paragon enjoys the distinction of local ownership, authentic community engagement, and a rapidly expanding staff of experienced banking professionals.