As the bard once said, this was the year that was. It was a year of soaring stock markets, mushrooming mutual funds and resurgent banks. Some of Maryland's biggest and smallest lenders fell victim to the merger frenzy that is consolidating the industry. Many got rich off this activity, and some of the state's most prominent executives disappeared from the scene.
Here's a baker's dozen of trivia questions covering some of the year's events in finance, both high and low. The answers can be found on Page 16D. Consider yourself a Maryland finance aficionado if you can answer more than half the questions. Good luck and happy New Year!
1. Provident Bankshares Corp., often mentioned as a takeover candidate, said this year it will become an acquiror. Who has it agreed to buy, and for how much?
2. 1993 was the year of the IPO (initial public offerings). Name five Maryland companies that went public (or announced plans to do so) this year. (We found nine.)
3. Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., the brokerage and investment bank, lost its second-in-command this year, sort of. Who is he, where did he go, and why only "sort of"?
4. It may have been a year of mergers, consolidations and failed bank cleanups, but one group of investors bucked the tide and became the only people to open a new commercial bank in
Maryland this year. What is the name of this new institution?
5. Two veterans of Maryland's 1985 thrift crisis were back in the news this year for very different reasons, but both were related to savings and loans. Who are these men, and what did they do this year?
6. The towns of Frederick and Myersville found themselves embroiled in a hot bank takeover battle early this year, complete with a hostile suitor and a white knight. Who were the three banks, and what was the outcome?
7. What's in a name? Quite a bit if you happen to own the rights to Alex. Brown's name. Who sold them this month and for how much?
8. NationsBank of Charlotte wasn't the only North Carolina lender to arrive in Maryland this year. What was the other one, and who did it acquire to get here?
9. MNC Financial Inc. went through some changes, culminating in its acquisition in October by NationsBank Corp. MNC's top two officers underwent some major career changes as well. What are their names and what were those changes?
10. While MNC's top two officers made "lateral" career moves, so to speak, the company anointed a rising star, and NationsBank later affirmed that anointment. Name the banker and the jobs NationsBank bestowed.
11. There was a tremendous amount of Monday morning quarterbacking over the price NationsBank agreed to pay for MNC a year and a half ago. Bottom line: name the per-share and total dollar amount the Charlotte behemoth paid for Maryland's biggest banking company.
12. Finally, a bit of ancient history. MNC's main roots go back to the Depression. What happened in 1929, aside from the stock market crash, that led to the creation of MNC's predecessor? Extra points for the name of the company's primary founder.
L 13. Bonus question: What type of cigar does Al Lerner smoke?