New Mexico Bank & Trust Buys Community Bank

New Mexico Bank & Trust President Alan O. Austin, left, with los Alamos County Councilor and Zia Realty Owner/Broker James Chrobocinski Tuesday inside the former Community Bank at 15th and Central. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily Post
New Mexico Bank & Trust has purchased Community Bank in downtown Los Alamos as well as branches in Santa Fe, Espanola, Tierra Amarilla and Albuquerque.
While the transaction closed Aug. 21, the NMB&T name doesn’t convert to the company’s computer system until Nov. 6. Customers will receive several notices ahead of time. Also a new sign will be installed on the building in the next few weeks.
“We’re very excited to be in Los Alamos and we look forward to continuing to take care of our existing customers and providing services to businesses and individuals in Los Alamos,” NMB&T Regional President Alan O. Austin told the Los Alamos Daily Post during an interview Tuesday.
Los Alamos County Councilor James Chrobocinski welcomed Austin to town Tuesday and commended him for his investment in the community.
“We are pleased to have New Mexico Bank & Trust join our community and look forward to upgrades they plan to make to the building,” Chrobocinski said.
NMB&T now owns about 87 percent of the building and Chrobocinski owns about 13 percent including the lower lever area where his realty company is located.
Austin explained that they intend to “remodel, refresh and renew” the facility.
“We are going to make every effort to increase our presence in Los Alamos including increased staffing,” he said, adding that longtime Los Alamos bank official Liz Cavasos has been hired as the commercial banker for the local branch and the branch in Santa Fe.
NMB&T provides a full range of services for businesses and individuals, Austin said.
Austin graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1973 from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. While at the university he played football for the Cornhuskers from 1971 to 1973. He entered the banking industry in early 1974 and worked for a bank in Lincoln for nine years.
Austin came to New Mexico in 1986 and went to work for United New Mexico Bank, and later the Bank of Santa Fe. He started a new NMB&T office in Santa Fe in 2003 and has remained with the company.
“For me it’s the people you meet and work with in the banking business – all walks of life. It’s very rewarding to help people plot out their financial path and fulfill their goals over time,” Austin said.
Austin and his wife Cindy live in Santa Fe. The couple has two sons, Evan, who is in pharmaceuticals and Logan, who is in real estate. They have two grandsons Ethan and Owen.
Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is the parent company of NMB&T. According to terms of the agreement, Heartland actually acquired Community Bancorporation, the parent company of Community Bank in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $11.3 million.
Under terms of the Merger Agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and simultaneous with closing of the transaction, Community Bank was merged into Heartland’s New Mexico Bank & Trust subsidiary.   
Dec. 31, 2014, Community Bank had assets of approximately $181 million, loans outstanding of $108 million and deposits of $154 million.
“We are excited about the prospect of expanding our New Mexico franchise,” said Lynn B. Fuller, Chairman and CEO of Heartland at the time of the acquisition. “Community Bank is an excellent fit for our community banking business model, and its locations match our desire to ‘fill-in’ attractive areas in or close to our existing geographies. Community Bank solidifies our presence in Santa Fe while bringing the opportunity to serve new commercial and retail customers in Espanola and Los Alamos.” 
Anne W. Honstein, President and CEO of Community Bank added, “We believe our customers will benefit from this merger. They will have access to a wide selection of convenient financial products and services offered by New Mexico Bank & Trust. We will be joining a bank that is committed to face-to-face customer service and locally based community banking that will continue our long tradition of strong community support. At the same time, our customers will have access to a wider menu of financial services and enhanced technology.  
“Since our founding more than 20 years ago, Community Bank has proudly served the people of New Mexico with personal service and community leadership. New Mexico Bank & Trust is built on the same principles. We are certain that our customers and communities will see many similarities once the merger is completed.” 
About New Mexico Bank & Trust
Like Community Bank, NMB&T’s specialty is commercial banking with a strong commitment to consumer banking, which positions them to serve all our customers’ financial needs.
With assets of approximately $1.3 billion, we now serve customers in Albuquerque, Clovis, Espanola, Los Alamos, Los Lunas, Portales, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Tierra Amarilla. The bank now operates 17 banking centers and two mortgage origination offices, all located in New Mexico.
About Heartland Financial USA, Inc.
Founded in 1981, Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is a $6.8 billion multibank holding company, offering uniquely different banking solutions for business and personal clients. Heartland’s independent community banks are chartered in the states of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas and Missouri, with a total of 88 banking locations serving 65 communities. The company also has loan production offices in California, Nevada, Texas and Idaho.
Heartland’s common stock is traded through the NASDAQ® Global Select Market System under the symbol “HTLF.”
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