The return of CBT?
By Laurie Ledgard
CBT was so special to Shapiro, who worked in the bank’s law department and was later vice president for government and community affairs, that he personally paid to keep the name after CBT was purchased by Fleet/Norstar Financial Group in April 1991.
Now Shapiro is behind an
effort with a group of 40 organizers to bring CBT back to
Late last week the state Department of Banking was scheduled to receive the group’s 100-page application seeking permission to make an initial public offering and form a new CBT with a target date to open in the first quarter of 2004.
David Lentini, who spent 21 years at CBT, is spearheading the bank’s organization after being contacted by Shapiro, who spent the past decade “hoping the baton got picked up.” Lentini will be the new CBT’s CEO and chair.
“Everywhere we went we found this great, warm feeling for the bank,” said Lentini, a founder of the Bank of South Windsor and former officer of New England Bank & Trust.
To open CBT, Lentini and organizers hope to raise between $12.5 million and $18.5 million in capital, needed because of the bank’s proposed multiple locations.
In its heyday,
Connecticut Bank & Trust was a statewide institution with some 160
branches. When CBT merged with State National Bank in
CBT merged with Bank of New England in 1985. But by 1990 bad real estate loans and regulatory scrutiny left Bank of New England with a $1 billion loss. Within a year it was sold to Fleet/Norstar and CBT ceased to exist.
Out of the 40 organizers,
11 will make up the new CBT board. They represent a veritable “Who’s Who” of
They include Karl Krapek, former president of United Technologies; John A. Green, president and CEO of jewelers Lux, Bond & Green; P. Anthony Giorgio, former executive director of the Capitol Region Growth Council; and Frank Falvo, former president of Equity Bank in Wethersfield.
Also Anson Hall, former CFO of New England Bank; Joan Rusconi of The Rusconi Co., a Hartford investment bank for middle-market companies; Solomon Kerensky of the Vernon law firm of Kahan, Kerensky and Capossela LLP; retired Gen. John M. Watkins of Fairfield Semiconductor; and J. Brian Smith of Smith Bros. Insurance, a South Windsor-based agency. Shapiro and Lentini will round out the board.
If state regulatory
approval is granted the new bank will be headquartered in Downtown Hartford
(the lease on an exact location is being negotiated but it is a stone’s throw
from the Old State House) and have branches in
And Shapiro feels strongly about bank names. He also owns the rights to the Connecticut National Bank name.
“I have no plans to use it,” he said, “but I’m holding on to it.”