It's banks like First Maryland Bancorp, Mercantile Bankshares Corp. and Provident Bankshares Corp. that he says are his main competition. But even they can be distracted from pursuing specific niches, which creates the opportunity, Bank of Maryland executives believe.
"We have an advantage because we can focus on one segment," said McPherson, who will oversee all lending functions at the bank. "Only we can put all of our resources into serving small businesses. They [the bigger banks] have other fish to fry."
To be sure, McPherson and Calloway's contacts are many in Baltimore, which should open doors for the bank.
"I'm known to the real estate community and I will get my share of calls," Calloway said.
"We are getting the word out because we can do bigger transactions."
Making larger loans is crucial for growth.
What makes bigger loans possible is Bank of Maryland's merger with Mason-Dixon Bancshares last July.
The Westminster-based banking company has $790 million in assets and a $66 million capital base, which allows Bank of Maryland to go after bigger customers.
Bank of Maryland could make loans of only up to $2.5 million to a single customer before the merger, compared with $8 million now.
Mason-Dixon's management is letting Shumpert run the bank the way he sees fit.
"This merger was about preparing for the future in terms of growth," said Thomas K. Ferguson, president and chief executive of Mason-Dixon.
"It was a situation that had tremendous growth potential. This merger was about recognizing the talent."
This aggressive stance is a new one for Mason-Dixon, which also owns Carroll County Bank and Trust Co.
It had been conservatively managed, profitable and content in its market. But recently, the company concluded that it needed to expand throughout the state.
The Bank of Maryland acquisition is a "reaction to the competitive environment in Carroll County as well as the recognition that we need to grow revenue," Ferguson said.
Mason-Dixon bought Bank of Maryland for $26.3 million in cash ** and stock.
The deal immediately put the company into several new markets from the Eastern Shore to Bethesda.
nTC Today, Carroll County Bank is the engine that is delivering the profits for Mason-Dixon.
Last year, it contributed $6.5 million to the company's bottom line, while $1.1 million came from Bank of Maryland, Ferguson said.
But Ferguson sees that changing, as Bank of Maryland's strategy falls into place.
"I think that Bank of Maryland has great prospects for future growth, they have the capability of producing commercial loans, and we do look to that affiliate as a growth affiliate," he said.
Bank of Maryland is also looking for acquisitions, and Shumpert expects assets to double in a year's time.
"We are looking right now, and there are potential candidates," he said.
Shumpert declined to name potential targets, but he said the banks would have assets of $140 million or less.
Besides capital, Mason-Dixon gives Bank of Maryland a sense of stability.
For a time, it didn't look like the bank would survive.
After opening in 1985, Bank of Maryland went on an acquisition spree and plunged into real estate lending.
By 1990, it was in serious trouble, losing nearly $11 million, while the door to the executive suite was beginning to revolve.
Bank of Maryland's chairman, J. Clarence Jameson, resigned; E. Neil Jacobs, a former executive with Equitable, was brought in to turn around the bank.
But after writing off millions in bad loans, he resigned in 1991, leaving the door open for Shumpert.
Shumpert, 52, had become disillusioned with MNC after seeing friends get fired in the wake of its merger with Equitable.
At 2 a.m. one summer night while sitting on a pier outside of his Severna Park home, he decided to resign from MNC.
"It was total pure frustration," he said. "It [MNC] was something that was very dear to me, and it was being killed very slowly."
Shumpert was planning to return to his native North Carolina for a college teaching job, but he couldn't sell his house.
By then, directors of Bank of Maryland had called him and wanted him to look over the banks' books.
"I saw a good little institution here," he said.
Shumpert said Bank of Maryland is filling a void left by the series of acquisitions in Baltimore that have transferred the city's banking power to places like Richmond, Va., and Charlotte, N.C.
"Long term, we have an excellent opportunity to fill the void that ++ was left," Shumpert said.
"I think we can become a major player in the marketplace for the local business person."
In the meantime, Shumpert is talking with more executives who are working for larger banks in the area about joining Bank of Maryland. "We are not through yet" he said.
Pub Date: 5/12/96