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Investors earn handsomely

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  • | 11:00 a.m. July 29, 2016
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After a decade in management roles at Morgan Stanley, including stints in New York and London, Trevor Burgess sought to get into community banking in 2008, somewhere in Florida.

The timing, with the economy in tatters, seemed off the mark. But Burgess and a business partner, Brazilian investor Marcello Lima, plowed ahead. The pair combed through a list of community banks in Florida that had assets between $100 million and $500 million. They ultimately invested more than $15 million in Lakewood Ranch-based Community Bank of Manatee. In 2009, Community Bank, then 14 years old, was one of many community banks in need of a major capital infusion.

The investment in Community Bank, since renamed C1 Bank, has paid off in a big way of for Burgess, Lima and other key investors. Little Rock, Ark.-based Bank of the Ozarks, in one
of the largest recent bank acquisitions in Florida, bought C1 for $402.5 million, or $25 per share. The deal closed July 21.

The public face and CEO of C1 the last five years, Burgess is eligible to receive at least $35 million in the deal, according to new Securities and Exchange filings. Burgess can receive $3.3 million in a change of control agreement and also owns 1.26 million shares of the bank, worth $31.6 million.

Burgess, according to the SEC documents, was going to remain with the bank under the new owners, as chief innovation officer. But he instead resigned from the bank July 26, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. Burgess didn't return several calls and messages seeking comment on his resignation. Bank of the Ozarks officials, in a statement, called the resignation unexpected. But bank officials add that Burgess built an outstanding team and it will be “business as usual for our Florida banking team and customer services.”

Lima, meanwhile, scored an even larger return in the sale. His shares of C1, according to the SEC documents, are worth $86.1 million. Brazilian businessman Erwin Russell has $46.8 million in shares, the SEC documents show, and fellow foreign businessman Marcio Camargo has $36.97 million.

Several other C1 officials received smaller potential payouts. The list includes:
Phillip Burghardt, a C1 board member since 2013, has $4.57 million in shares;
Neil Grossman, a C1 board member since 2012, has $3.41 million in shares;
Rita Lowman, COO at C1 Bank since 2011, has $3.09 million in shares;
Alan Rudolph, recently named Florida division president for Bank of the Ozarks, has $436,975 in shares;
Onetime Florida gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, who previously ran the Florida division for Bank of America and joined C1's board in 2013, has $233,700 in shares.
Bill Sedgeman, who founded Community Bank in 1995 and was a board member and executive for a time at C1, holds $215,200 in shares.


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