Maryland business and community officials greated the news of the agreement between MNC Financial Inc. and NationsBank Corp. with a mixture of relief and anxiety.
Businessmen were relieved that the bank holding company would be getting a much-needed transfusion of capital, which should spur increased lending by Maryland National Bank, MNC's banking subsidiary in the state. However, charitable institutions were worried that there might be a drop in corporate contributions similar to those they have seen resulting from previous takeovers by out-of-state operations.
Here are their comments:
* George J. Collins, president and chief executive officer of T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.: "Maryland National Bank was clearly making a recovery. NationsBank, which is already the third- or fourth-largest bank in the country, already has a presence in Maryland, and that helps in that they know something about Maryland's economy and Maryland business.
"The capital helps Maryland National, and that will strengthen their credit standing and make more money available for loans. Additionally, NationsBank has done due diligence for a considerable amount of time and they see an improving situation, and that is a plus for the Maryland economy."
* Benjamin H. Griswold IV, chairman of Alex. Brown Inc.: "There are two pluses and one possible minus. . . . It ensures the long-term viability and strength of MNC. . . . [MNC] will lend more actively in the area, therefore more credit will be available. . . . Possible minus -- loss of another major corporate headquarters."
* Robert P. Bergman, director of the Walters Art Gallery: "Every time a local corporation is taken over by a national firm headquartered elsewhere, the entire charitable community holds its breath in fear of losing yet another source of support. This is especially true in the case of MNC, which has been one of our city's leading corporate philanthropists. Let us hope that NationsBank appreciates and fulfills this decades-old tradition of giving back to the community."
* Jack Moseley, former chairman, president and chief executive officer of USF&G Corp.: "On balance I think the possible acquisition is a good thing. MNC is bound to be stronger because of it, and the Baltimore area should be stronger as well."
* John Gidwitz, executive director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: "MNC and Maryland National Bank have been immensely important and generous contributors to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and to many other cultural and charitable organizations in this community. We fervently hope that NationsBank will continue to play this crucial civic role."
* Mark L. Wasserman, Maryland secretary of economic and employment development: "The general goal we have is to always encourage the progress of home-grown corporations. NationsBank appears to be a solid partner. Accepting that the change will occur, it is appropriate for us to make the contacts with NationsBank and take all appropriate steps to be sure that they feel welcomed."