A Publication of WTVP

Dan Daly has served as the president and chief executive officer at First Capital Bank since its inception in 1996. He has been a senior executive in area financial institutions and public accounting for more than 20 years.

A Peoria native, he is a graduate of Bradley University and a certified public accountant. He is active in community service, the current chairman of the Civic Center Authority, and president of the board of directors for Catholic Social Service. He serves as a director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and serves on the national MS Society board. He is a 1997 recipient of the Outstanding Young Graduate Award from Bradley University and a past winner of the 40 Leaders Under Forty award.

He and his wife, Sherry, have three daughters and one son.

Tell us about your background, schools attended, family, etc.

I am a lifelong Peorian. I grew up in the West Bluff and attended Spalding Institute and Bradley University. I graduated from Bradley in December 1977 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting.

I began my career with Peat Marwick, then the largest public accounting firm in the world. I earned the designation of certified public accountant, and, after nearly eight years with Peat Marwick, I was attracted to a turnaround project at Security Savings in 1985. Unfortunately, we were unable to save Security Savings, and the organization was taken over by the FDIC in 1989 and sold shortly thereafter.

Following my stint at Security Savings, I served in a number of leadership roles with area financial institutions, ultimately serving as the head of the Peoria Area Division of Magna Bank.

My wife, Sherry, also a life-long Peorian, and I have been married for more than 21 years. We have four children: Maggie, 14; Bridget, 12; Maureen, 10; and Patrick 7. We have a very active, enjoyable family life, with our kids involved in numerous activities.

In spite of the challenges of business and civic demands, I have been able to maintain good balance to meet the needs of my family. Family life is very important to me.

How did your background help prepare you to manage the start-up and become CEO of First Capital Bank?

The financial disciplines I learned in my work with Peat Marwick were a strong base for the start-up of First Capital Bank. In addition, my tenure at Security Savings and subsequent leadership positions involved a tremendous amount of contact with federal regulators.

This understanding of application processes and regulatory concerns was very important in addressing the worries of regulators over the organization of the first new bank in Peoria in more than 27 years.

My background of community involvement was also important in managing the start-up of First Capital Bank. I developed credibility with, and confidence from, leaders in the community, and this was key to the bank’s early acceptance.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work with wonderful people, and I was able to successfully recruit a top-notch team with the intellect and passion to build our new bank.

Tell us about the start-up of First Capital Bank in April 1996. What niche did First Capital hope to fill? Who were the early investors? Board of directors?

In addition to myself, First Capital Bank was organized by a group of four local entrepreneurs—Joe O’Brien, chairman of O’Brien Steel Service Company; James DeBord, vascular surgeon; William Niemeyer, president of Morton Machine Tools; and John Elias, chairman of Elias, Meginnes, Riffle and Seghetti, P.C.

The organizers/directors have since been joined on the board by Matt Vonachen, vice president and general manager of Vonachen Service and Supply; E. Lee Hofmann, president of International Supply Company; and Donald Shafer, executive vice president of First Capital Bank.

The organization process took about six months, which is much shorter than the one-year average of most new banks. The process was bolstered by the fact the organizers committed more than $3.5 million in capital to get the bank started. The initial stock offering raised nearly $5.7 million from more than 70 local investors.

The niche pursued initially by First Capital Bank was the small to medium-sized business market. Because of bank mergers and acquisitions, the business banking market was in a state of upheaval.

We seized on the concerns in the market and rapidly built a solid base of customers. In just over three years, bank assets exceeded $100 million, while the bank was still operating out of one office in a strip mall. Bank assets now exceed $180 million.

Have you expanded your menu of services since that beginning?

The bank broadened its niche and is very active in offering a variety of consumer banking services in addition to the sophisticated business banking services offered since inception.

Last year, First Capital Bank generated more than $30 million in single-family mortgage loans. In addition, we attracted thousands of consumers with competitive checking, savings, money market accounts and other deposit products. Our electronic banking system, which has been in place two years, also attracted a growing number of consumers and businesses that enjoy the convenience of banking and bill-paying online.

For business customers, in addition to offering commercial deposit accounts and commercial loans, we also offer cash management, electronic ACH, lockbox and check reconciliation systems.

We recently entered into a strategic alliance with Alliance Benefit Group to provide human resource and payroll services, retirement plans, 401-(k) plans and self-directed IRAs to businesses and consumers.

We constantly evaluate the bank’s products and service offerings to make sure we are carefully addressing the banking needs of the community.

You have had several expansions in six years. Are more planned?

We opened the bank’s downtown banking center in the historic Musicians’ Hall building in Fall 1999. The main banking center on Sheridan Road opened in February 2000.

We are planning to open a new banking center in Fall 2002. Long term, we expect to add strategically-located banking centers throughout the metropolitan Peoria area.

First Capital Bank was built for the community, by the community. What is the philosophy of First Capital Bank and how do you implement community involvement?

Our mission speaks to the fact that we "…achieve excellence in customer satisfaction, develop our employees and contribute to the advancement of our Community…"

First Capital Bank and its employees support more than 40 charitable organizations in the Peoria area. One of the most gratifying personal and professional efforts I have made was in 1999 when I chaired the Heart of Illinois United Way annual campaign. It was rewarding to see so many generous volunteers from the community work together for a great cause.

We encourage the bank staff to volunteer their time for community efforts, and support their endeavors. We have an obligation to give of our talents to the community, and our community support speaks volumes on this commitment. First Capital Bank exists because of this community, and we are committed to the ongoing development of the community.

What business development projects have First Capital Bank helped fund?

We participated in the development of more than 140 single-family homes through the OKPARA I and OKPARA II projects, in cooperation with the Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity on Peoria’s south side.

We are participating with other neighborhood groups on housing development projects, including first-time homebuyers projects. We also have participated in the financing of the HOPE VI project that has redeveloped the former John Warner Homes housing project into beautiful new housing units.

First Capital Bank also led the financing of exciting developments such as the Vieux Carre project on State Street in downtown Peoria. We also financed the development of a shopping center in Morton, housing and commercial developments in Pekin, and subdivisions and commercial real estate developments in Peoria. We have invested more than $100 million in loan financing into the Peoria area.

In addition to housing and business development projects, First Capital Bank itself has invested in the community through two significant building rehabilitation projects. The downtown center in the former Musicians’ Hall building is a historic site that was rehabilitated under strict development guidelines. We also rehabilitated the former Thompson’s Food Basket store on Sheridan Road. 

What can a locally-owned community bank offer that a larger banking institution cannot?

A locally-owned community bank has the flexibility to move quickly to meet the needs of its customers. If a quick decision is needed on a business loan, a community bank can cut through the committee process and provide a rapid response.

A community bank is also flexible in its structuring of relationships. We do not have to put together cookie-cutter deals. Often, we can structure a banking relationship to better meet the needs of the customer.

What are your projections for the future of banking? Here in Peoria?

Bank customers will ultimately embrace the new technologies offered by banks. These new technologies will make banking faster and more efficient for consumers. Banks that efficiently combine these new technologies with outstanding people will compete very effectively in the financial services market.

In Peoria, we have seen strong growth in competition over the last few years. It is likely the national trend of mergers and acquisitions will continue and will likely affect the Peoria market. Ultimately, there will be fewer competitors in the market, but competition among the remaining institutions will be keen. First Capital Bank intends to be a long-term institution in Peoria.

How has 9-11 affected the local economy? The banking industry in general?

The terrorist attacks on the United States certainly created a drag on the national economy, and this affected the Peoria area economy as well.

The manufacturing sector has been particularly hurt by the economic slowdown. However, the Peoria market is very resilient. Business leaders and consumers remember the terrible difficulties Peoria faced in the 1980s, and are better positioned to face economic downturns.

The terrorist attacks have not had a significant effect on the banking industry in general. There have been reports of higher loan losses, but profits in the industry overall remain very good. Bankers are probably more cautious in their outlook for the remainder of 2002, but I sense some strong optimism among bankers that the economy is going to bounce back.

How do you advise start-up businesses in search of capital?

I strongly emphasize start-up businesses to be extremely organized in their business planning before these entrepreneurs go out in search of capital. We often see entrepreneurs who have wonderful ideas for a new business, but they have not organized themselves to put together a business that can be successful.

I urge entrepreneurs organizing a business to put together a key group of advisors including their accountant, attorney and banker.

It is imperative the advisers selected meet the needs and demands of the business.

There is a considerable amount of capital available in this market to fund new business ventures, but entrepreneurs need to be prepared to work to find the necessary sources of capital.

We also strongly encourage start-up businesses to look at government-supported loan programs to support their businesses.

There are a variety of programs available, and we have developed expertise at First Capital Bank in understanding and structuring loan programs using government support.

How involved is First Capital in Internet banking? What are the local trends for business clients?

First Capital Bank introduced Internet banking in late 1999. The system includes banking options and bill-pay services. Recently, we upgraded the system to enhance the usability of the system. Approximately 10 percent of our customer base is using this service.

Business clients have been more receptive to using electronic banking services. This is a great convenience to provide business customers with treasury functions on their desktop. We expect electronic business services will continue to grow in functionality and use in Peoria over the next few years.

You are actively involved in the community, including serving as chair of the Civic Center authority and as a director of the Peoria Symphony board. Last year there was a lot of talk about expanding the Civic Center. Is that still under consideration.

Over the last few months, the Peoria Civic Center Authority and the Civic Center management team have participated in strategic planning sessions with Dr. Aaron Buchko as our facilitator. These sessions have been very helpful in focusing the plans for the future. 

As part of this process, the Authority is considering expansion options. To assist us in this process, we budgeted monies to retain a consultant to facilitate a study.

The primary purpose of this study is to evaluate the Peoria Civic Center’s existing events center and make recommendations for the expansion and/or redevelopment of the center.

The study will consider the Peoria Civic Center’s strategic plan and include an assessment of services in the Peoria area, including transportation, hotels, restaurant services, cultural offerings and other entertainment.

The study is contemplated to be "multi-phased," allowing for considerable interaction between the consultants and the Civic Center as findings are made and recommendations developed.

When this study is completed, some time late in the year, the Authority will enhance its long-term capital plan to set an implementation timeline for the agreed upon expansion plans.

What are the other "hot" issues at the Civic Center right now?

We have gone through some turbulent times at the Civic Center over the last two years.
We worked through some significant challenges, and I think the Authority is stronger for having successfully met these challenges. This will be important as the Authority focuses on growth.

Probably one of the hottest issues at the Civic Center right now is how we can effectively and prudently use HRA taxes to further enhance the facility.

There are a number of groups in Peoria conducting studies on major developments, and these groups are focusing on HRA taxes as a means of funding some of their studies and developments. The Authority is developing a collaborative attitude with these groups. Most of the HRA tax revenue funds the debt service on City of Peoria bonds.

The proceeds of these bonds are used to finance capital projects at the Civic Center. Through effective leadership, we will continue to use HRA taxes to fund the demands for growth at the Civic Center, while working to see if we can help accommodate other community growth demands.

The Civic Center currently attracts 1 million visitors each year. We are challenging management to increase attendance by 20 percent in the next five years. This will take a strong cooperative effort by the Authority and management to achieve this goal.

What is your vision for the Civic Center for the next 10 years? The next 20 years?

The vision is the Civic Center will be THE place to be. In the next 10 years, the Civic Center will be physically innovative, with up-to-date facilities and cutting-edge amenities to attract a growing market.

I expect the Civic Center grounds will include a name brand convention center hotel tied directly into the Civic Center complex.

I would also expect to see expanded meeting, banquet and convention space, including a totally revamped triangle lobby which better serves the arena and exhibition space.

I also imagine an expanded arena with total seating capacity in excess of 15,000 with skyboxes and other amenities the community would appreciate. The key is to maintain the Civic Center as the jewel of downtown Peoria.

What is your greatest challenge on a day-to-day basis? Your greatest reward?

My greatest challenge on a day-to-day basis is to maintain the energy to keep the officers and staff at First Capital Bank motivated and focused on our vision. Our values statement uses the acronym CAPITAL to describe who we are. The "L" in this acronym is "Light-hearted."

We intend to conduct business in a professional and reliable manner while maintaining an enjoyable and enthusiastic atmosphere. It is my challenge in this busy environment to keep our staff motivated and make sure that we are having fun.

My greatest reward is when a customer stops me to compliment a staff member. When I hear these compliments, I am deeply gratified we are achieving what we set out to do. If a customer makes the effort to compliment the staff, then we achieved our goal of satisfying our customers. It is so rewarding to participate in the development of so many great people. As a CEO, there is no greater reward. IBI