Daniel Daly, the organizing president and founder of First Capital Bank and currently regional president of Busey Bank, said First Capital Bank was organized in April 1996 and merged with Busey Bank in May 2005. “Busey Bank was organized in 1868 by brothers Colonel Samuel Busey and Simeon Busey and fellow entrepreneur Dr. W. R. Earhart as Busey Brothers and Company. In 1904, the bank moved to the corner of Race and Main streets in Urbana, where the main bank still stands today. Until spring 1971, a direct descendant of the Busey family held a position in management of the bank. At that time, Douglas Mills bought controlling interest in the bank and has served as chairman of the board and CEO of First Busey Corporation, the bank’s holding company, ever since.”

Daly said the bank was organized to provide outstanding financial services and products to the Peoria area market. “Our vision has grown as we’ve merged into an organization with offices throughout central Illinois, Indianapolis, and south Florida. The commitment to provide the finest in financial services remains. We realize we’re living in a world of change that’s taking place at an unprecedented pace. We’re committed to retaining staff with the imagination and professionalism to adapt quickly to change. We recognize that we must be leaders in our community and this means making a contribution. Busey Bank remains dedicated to the success of the Peoria community.”

Busey offers a full array of personal and business banking services, he said. “These services include business loans, commercial deposit, cash management services, personal loans, mortgage loans, trust services, and investment services. We also meet some of the special needs of our customers by providing foreign currency services and private banking services.”

Locally, the bank has grown from $5 million in assets in April 1996 to more than $250 million in assets currently, Daly said. “Overall, First Busey Corp. is a $2.1 billion asset company that’s also seen dramatic growth of more than $500 million in just the last two years. Our growth has been driven by the bank’s commitment to profitable growth and successful efforts to capitalize on the service deficiencies in the markets we serve.”

In a field thick with competition, Daly said part of what differentiates Busey is that the company has implemented a regional organizational and accountability structure that puts real authority and responsibility in the individual markets it serves. “This regional approach gives our bankers greater flexibility to meet the needs of our customers. This flexibility encourages more innovation, and our commitment to achieving this success is to ‘focus—then follow through.’ Our core values of high professionalism, integrity, growth, and profitability create an environment in which all Busey associates achieve personal and professional goals.”

Over the past couple of decades, community banks are getting much bigger, he said, and to compete effectively, Busey Bank parent company First Busey Corp. launched an initial public offering in 1988 as part of a strategy to become a much larger publicly owned community bank. “This strategy has been very successful, as evidenced by more than $1 billion of growth in just the last six years.”

Daly said consumers of financial services are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of financial needs, which means his industry will be challenged to develop additional products and services to satisfy these needs in the near future. “In addition to the quality service delivered by our professional staff, significant emphasis will be placed upon electronic services that will make banking more convenient for our personal and corporate customers. We’re also looking forward to branching further in the Peoria area. We’re also looking to attract more talented bankers in an effort to grow. We’re excited about the growth potential of the Peoria area and are planning to continue to play an active role in this growth.”

One of the most pervasive misconceptions about the banking industry is that service will deteriorate after a merger, Daly said. “Well conceived and implemented banking mergers utilize talented people to deliver even more varied and attractively priced banking products and services. This has certainly been true for Busey Bank in Peoria, where we’ve added trust, investment, and other services since our merger in May 2005.”

Throughout his long banking career, Daly said successfully facing adversity has been the most challenging aspect. “I was recruited as part of a turnaround management effort at a large local savings and loan in the 1980s. This turnaround effort was unsuccessful, but I learned a great deal from this failure, and I used this knowledge to feed the success I’ve had in banking in the last 25 years. This knowledge also gave me the impetus in 1996 to organize the first new community bank in Peoria in more than 27 years. I’m very proud of First Capital Bank and my new association with Busey Bank.”

He said Busey Bank is truly committed to the communities it serves. “Busey has received an outstanding Community Reinvestment Act rating, and we’re all very proud of that. We plan to remain involved in projects to support the Peoria area. Our goal is to help attract more jobs and provide better housing and a higher quality of life for the Peoria community.” IBI