Updated Apr. 3, 2007 at 7:37 a.m.

Premium Lock Square 1 Hires VC Firm Management Team To Ramp Up Mid-Atlantic Business

Published: 2007-04-03 07:37:00
Updated: 2007-04-03 07:37:35

DURHAM, N.C. – Rapidly growing Square 1 Bank is going to take a venture team oriented approach to expand its business in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Square 1, a startup focused on providing services and loans to venture capital firms and companies backed by venture capital, has hired the management team of Blue Water Capital to man its office in the Washington, D.C. area.

Blue Water, which has a portfolio of nearly 20 companies with most being high tech, is closing down its operations. The 11-year-old firm has some $100 million under management.

Joining Square 1 will be Henry Barratt, the founder of Blue Water Capital, along with directors Jamie Loving and Mark Costanzo. The three will operate out of McLean, Va., and look for startups and clients in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

Square 1, which was launched in late 2005, already has eight branch offices, is considering adding another, and has more than 800 clients. The bank also has more than $600 million in assets.

“This is something that is very much needed inn the Mid-Atlantic region,” Loving told WRAL Local Tech Wire. “We will be looking for companies that already have venture funding that need banking services and also venture funds that need services.”

Will Kelly, a former venture capitalist who runs the east division of Square 1, said the firm found it “exceptionally appealing” to be able to recruit a team from a venture firm.

“We’ve been looking to make a broader, bigger move in the Mid-Atlantic, and we’ve been looking for the right people,” Kelly said in an interview. “Any time we can hire a team, we’d love to do it. They are so very difficult to find.”

Square 1 followed a similar strategy in hiring Kelly and two others away from a Ironside Ventures, a venture fund in Boston, to lead its Northeast operations.

By hiring a team of VCs, Square 1 not only gains the expertise of people already in the industry as well as their extensive network of contacts, Kelly said.

“Not only do these three individuals have deep backgrounds in venture itself, they also have backgrounds in banking and in the high tech division of Anderson,” Kelly added about the Blue Water team. “They bring us a diverse skill set, all focused on the venture-backed community.”

Square 1, which is based in Durham, also has offices in New York, Austin, Texas, San Diego, Silicon Valley, and Seattle. It has more than 80 employees....

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