Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A New Name on the Insider Banking Scene

A blank check firm with $300 million in cash, Global Consumer Acquisition Corp. (To be renamed Western Liberty Bancorp), is moving into the insider banking game.

Jason Ader will become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Liberty Bancorp. Ader and his group seem to be new players on the scene without any connections to the usual insiders, such as, Goldman Sachs and Carlyle Group. Most of those that will becoming on board with Ader have connections to Ader through his years as an analyst at Bear Stearns, or from relationships he developed while at NYU's business school.

Global Consumer intends to acquire the Nevada operations of Colonial Bank, a subsidiary of the Colonial BancGroup, and First Commerce Bank, combining them under Western Liberty. The operations will be run under the First Commerce name and will have 22 branches, as well as $477 million of loan assets and about $534 million in deposits.

Ader may not be part of the Goldman/Carlyle clique, but he sure appears to know his way around the bank regulatory environment. NYT reports:

Global Consumer worked with federal and state banking regulators to select the loans it wanted to assume in creating Western Liberty, Jason Ader, the investment manager who sponsored the acquisition company, said in an interview last week.

“We’re taking assets that we’re very comfortable with,” said Mr. Ader, who will become Western Liberty’s chairman and chief executive. “There’s a significant margin of safety in our portfolio.”
Put this stock on your watch list, if Bernanke ever starts printing money again, these guys appear to have the touch that will make them big winners.

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