Financial Notes Corporate Director program for Fort Worth

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) North Texas, the advocate for the profession of directorship, announced its first fall 2016 program in Fort Worth, Capital Enhancement for Small and Mid-Cap Companies: The Board’s Role. The program will take place on Thursday, Sept. 8 at City Club Fort Worth, and will discuss the board’s responsibilities while a company is growing and raising capital.

Panelists will share best practices regarding obstacles companies face in raising capital, what directors need to know to fulfill their obligations and duties during the growth period, and how companies can evaluate each fundraising opportunity. Members will hear from J. Bryan King, principal and vice president portfolio manager/analyst at Luther King Capital Management, and C. Jackson Pfeffer, director at Air Tractor, Cactus Feeders, Hossley Lighting Associates, Halloman, Vermeer Texas-Louisiana. Scott Kleberg, managing member at CA Partners LLC will serve as moderator.

“NACD North Texas is excited to restart our monthly luncheon programs this September after breaking for the summer months,” said Rhys Best, NACD North Texas chapter president. “Our upcoming luncheon in Fort Worth will cover strategies to raise money for companies with relatively small market capitalization and what role corporate governance plays in this process – a topic I think our members and guests will find highly valuable.”

NACD North Texas membership consists of directors of public and private companies and not for profit organizations.

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Advanced reservation is required and the cost is $30 for members and $30 for nonmembers.

First Command inks deal with West Point

First Command Financial Services Inc. has signed a five-year sponsorship deal with the U.S. Military Academy and Learfield’s Army West Point Sports Properties, the Fort Worth-based investment adviser and broker-dealer said Aug. 25.

The partnership kicks off on Sept. 10, when First Command will serve as the presenting sponsor for the Black Knights’ first home game of the 2016 football season as Army West Point squares off against the Rice University Owls. First Command will also partner with the Academy on the Military Family of the Game, which recognizes local military families at the Academy’s home football games.

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“First Command is honored to partner with the U.S. Military Academy as a proud sponsor of its football program for the next five years,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command. “We see this agreement as a clear demonstration of our support of the Army and West Point and another example of our continuing commitment to programs that matter to soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. We are committed to enriching the lives of the men and women of America’s career military at all stages of their careers.”

First Command Financial Services Inc. is the parent of First Command Financial Planning Inc., First Command Advisory Services Inc., First Command Insurance Services Inc. and First Command Bank. – Betty Dillard

Buffett’s company buys more Phillips 66 shares

Warren Buffett’s company now controls more than 15 percent of Phillips 66 stock after buying another 414,065 shares of the oil refiner last week.

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Berkshire Hathaway disclosed the latest purchases in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 24.

Berkshire now owns about 79.5 million shares of Phillips 66, which represents 15.2 percent of the Houston-based company’s stock.

Berkshire has been steadily buying Phillips 66 stock since 2012. After building up a sizeable initial stake, Berkshire traded about $1.4 billion of its Phillips 66 stock for one of the refiner’s additive businesses in late 2013.

It has continued buying Phillips 66 shares since that deal to build its current stake.

Besides investments, Berkshire owns about 90 subsidiaries in a variety of industries, including insurance, utilities, railroads, and manufacturing, including several companies based in Fort Worth and North Texas. – Associated Press

BancorpSouth puts 2 planned mergers on hold

A downgrade of BancorpSouth’s Community Reinvestment Act rating means two mergers have been tabled for the time being, the company announced Aug. 16. That includes a planned merger with a Texas-based bank.

BancorpSouth announced in January 2014 its intent to acquire Ouachita Bancshares Corp. of West Monroe, Louisiana, and Central Community Corp. of Temple. The merger agreements were valued at a combined $325 million in stock and cash at the time.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. notified Tupelo, Mississippi-based BancorpSouth that it was lowering its CRA rating from “satisfactory” to “needs to improve.”

The bank says it’s unlikely to have the mergers approved until its CRA rating returns to “satisfactory.”

The Community Reinvestment Act is intended to encourage financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. – Associated Press

New CFO at Michaels

Denise Paulonis has been named chief financial officer of Irving-based The Michaels Companies Inc. as the Irving-based retailer fulfills part of its previously announced CFO succession plan.

Paulonis, currently senior vice president with the firm, succeeds Chuck Sonsteby, vice chairman and CFO. Her new duties begin on Aug. 29. 2016.

Sonsteby will continue to serve as vice chairman and will retain executive responsibility for the growth and integration of Lamrite West and management of Aaron Brothers stores. Sonsteby and Paulonis will work together during the next few months to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

“At Michaels, succession planning and ensuring we have the strongest leadership team to drive value for our customers, team members and shareholders, has always been a key priority,” said Chuck Rubin, chairman and CEO.

In her new position, Paulonis will focus on delivering the firm’s Vision 2020 strategy and strong financial returns,” said Rubin, referring to the strategy to deliver a strong in store and online shopping experience, increased market share and expanded customer base.

Paulonis joined the firm in 2014 as vice president-investor relations, treasury and corporate finance and was named senior vice president-finance in November 2015. Prior to joining the company, Paulonis held various senior positions with PepsiCo and McKinsey & Co. She earned a bachelor of science in finance and economics from Miami University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Michaels Companies provides arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor and seasonal merchandise for hobbyists and do-it-yourself home decorators. As of July 30, 2016, the Irving-based company owned and operated 1,356 stores in 49 states and Canada under the brands Michaels, Aaron Brothers, and Pat Catan’s. – A.Lee Graham