Interview With The President And CEO: Camden National Corporation (CAC) - Gregory A. Dufour
May 2, 2012 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published U.S. Banking Report: An Investor offering a timely review of the sector. This Special Report contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. Please find an excerpt below.
Gregory A. Dufour has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Camden National Corporation since January 2009. He joined the company in April 2001 as Senior Vice President of finance. In August 2002, he assumed additional responsibility for operations and technology until December 2003. In January 2004, Mr. Dufour was named Chief Banking Officer for the company and President and Chief Operating Officer for Camden National Bank. And then in January 2006, he became President and CEO for Camden National Bank. In addition to his duties as President and CEO, Mr. Dufour also serves on the board of directors of Camden National Bank and Acadia Trust. N.A. Before joining the company, he was Managing Director of finance and a Member of the executive operating group for IBEX Capital Markets in Boston. In addition to his experience at IBEX, Mr. Dufour held various financial management positions with FleetBoston Corporation and its affiliates, including Vice President and Controller of debt capital markets, Controller of investment banking and Banking Group Controller.
TWST: Would you begin with a brief historical sketch of the company and a picture of its operations at the present time?
Mr. Dufour: Camden National Corporation (CAC) traces its roots back to the founding of Camden National Bank in 1875. Six local businesspeople founded the bank to provide banking services and capital to the Camden, Maine, community. Over the years, it was a typical community bank, primarily serving Camden and a few surrounding communities, and only opened its first branch location in 1960, in Union, Maine. In 1984, Camden National Corporation was created, and we listed on the American Stock Exchange in 1997 to provide some liquidity for the local owners of the stock. In the mid-1990s, Camden National started buying and acquiring a few of its competitors. It acquired United Bank & Trust Company of Maine in 1995; Kingfield Savings, which is based in the western part of the state, in 1999; and Union Bankshares, the parent company of Union Trust, in 2008. In 2001, we acquired our wealth management subsidiary, Acadia Trust. Even though the geographic footprint expanded, our focus on great service and local communities, which is highlighted by local decision makers, remains true to what our founding fathers wanted way back in 1875. Today, we are at $2.3 billion in assets, and we focus primarily on Maine. Our uniqueness lies with the fact that we're a community bank who is very much ingrained with our communities, our customers and our shareholders, while possessing the financial capacity to accommodate larger transactions, along with small business loans and retail loans. It's a great way to play at all different levels and to really serve our community and our customers here in Maine.
TWST: Please tell us about the area and the economy the company serves and then some of its key products or services.
Mr. Dufour: Maine is an interesting market. The state's economy does not experience big economic booms, and it's somewhat shielded from large economic busts. The lack of a high growth rate is offset by a certain level of economic stability. Maine's economic drivers are focused on tourism and marine-related industries, health care and several service industries. But the backbone of Maine's economy is a strong core of small businesses. Camden National Bank is positioned to help small businesses throughout the state, while at the same time have the expertise and capacity to handle many large transactions. On a typical day, we make a loan to a small businessperson looking to buy a piece of equipment, such as a new truck, and work with a large commercial real estate developer looking for a multimillion-dollar financing package. On the consumer front, we are a full-service retail bank providing residential mortgages, home equity lines, credit and loans, auto loans, as well as a full suite of retail products. Our wealth management subsidiary, Acadia Trust, N.A., provides investment management and fiduciary services throughout the state and follows a disciplined value-oriented investment process that uses original bottom-up research in the selection of large-cap stocks for client portfolios.
TWST: How is the economic picture in Maine compared with others of the Northeast?
Mr. Dufour: As I mentioned before, what Maine lacks in periods of high growth, it makes up for in its stability. We have experienced some downturn like everybody around the country, but in the most recent economic recession, the retraction was less severe than in most other regions. Looking at the economic data, it appears that the northern New England states have performed somewhat better than those in southern New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. We have seen some declines in home values and in home sales, as well as higher than normal unemployment, but again, not at the more severe levels that some other regions of the country have experienced. We've had our fair share of pain, but it hasn't been as distressing as in many other areas.
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