The bank attributed the increase to loan growth and improvements in its asset quality.
Brookline Bancorp, parent company of Bank Rhode Island, reported earnings of 61 cents per diluted share compared with 51 cents per diluted share for the year ended Dec. 31, 2013.
Total assets increased 9 percent to $5.8 billion in 2014, bolstered by a 9 percent increase of loan and leases totaling $4.8 billion in the same year.
A breakdown of Bank Rhode Island result was not immediately available.
Net income in the fourth quarter came to $10.8 million, an increase of 40.9 percent, and earnings per diluted share were 15 cents. The bank will pay an 8.5 cent per share fourth-quarter dividend.
Paul Perrault, president and CEO of Brookline Bancorp, is optimistic.
"We are pleased to report over 20 percent growth in earnings for 2014," Perrault said in a statement. "Our continued loan growth, exceptional asset quality and solid momentum has us well positioned for success in 2015."]]>
And outside the flurry of betting happening this moment in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, online or even among friends, public officials often join in and challenge their counterparts in opposing cities for publicity and bragging rights.
It's less common, however, to see two fiscally conservative-minded establishments like banks enter the fray, but Westerly's Washington Trust Co. has done the underwriting and is betting on the New England Patriots to beat the Seattle Seahawks in this weekend's NFL Super Bowl matchup.
And who is Washington Trust's opponent?
None other than another bank that celebrates the nation's first president with its name, Washington Trust Bank, headquartered in Spokane, Wash.
Only one Washington Trust can be victorious Sunday, and the winner will receive a basket of local products from the other.
The losing CEO - and if the Patriots are defeated, that would be Joseph J. MarcAurele - will be forced to wear the opposing team's hat and shirt in defeat the week following the game and face the public shaming of sharing photos through social media, not to mention changing the color scheme of its Facebook and Twitter pages to the winning team's colors for a day.
It's Northeast versus Northwest, Washington versus Washington and only one bank can win.
The game is afoot.]]>
The house, at 334 Smith St., was constructed by a quarryman in 1855, and joins nine other properties identified by the society at its annual meeting on Thursday night of being in most danger of deterioration, neglect and demolition.
Foreclosed in 2007, the house, which features a five-bay façade and ornate central entrance, has been boarded up and vacant for years. It is now owned by a Texas bank, and the preservation society hopes that its appearance on the list attracts attention to it, and will prompt appropriate development there.
Appearing on the list for the second year in a row is the Grace Church Cemetery and Cottage at 10 Elmwood Ave. The cemetery has served as a "gateway to south Providence" for more than 150 years. The church originally purchased four acres for use as a burial ground in 1834, which expanded to a nine-acre parcel nine years later.
Although the cemetery is an active burial ground, the number of interments has fallen in recent decades, decreasing funds available for property maintenance.
The Cranston Street Armory has been mentioned on lists regularly from 1996 to 2000, as well as in 2003, and 2014 and 2015. The 1907 castle-like building gained attention when Mayor Jorge O. Elorza hosted his inaugural gala inside it, but needs upgrades and has been underutilized since the National Guard left it in 1996.
The Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House, often referred to as the "wedding cake house," also made the list again, after past appearances in 2010 and 2012. Built in an elaborate Italianate style, the 1867 house at 514 Broadway in Federal Hill is "Providence's consummate gingerbread house," the society said.
The society said that the house is owned by a community development group which is looking at ways to reuse the property, but the building continues to deteriorate "as the planning process drags on."
The former R.I. Department of Transportation headquarters and garage has been on the list in 2008, 2009, 2012 and the past two years. The 30 Arline St. property was built in 1927 and is now owned by Quality Food Co.
"With the possibility of an extended state historic tax credit program, PPS hopes to continue discussion started in 2006 and explore rehabilitation options with the Providence-based company," the society said.
The society said that in recent years, properties noted on the list have reflected consequences of the recession: foreclosure, low occupancy and a lagging market.
The list's purpose is to generate interest in, and support for, the preservation of the structures, and to educate the public about the benefits of historic preservation and unique architectural resources in the city, as well as to encourage creative collaboration among property owners, developers and other interested parties to bring about positive changes in each property.
"Most buildings on the annual lists represent notable aspects of local community life and character," the preservation society said in a press release.
The other properties are as follows:
Atlantic Mills (1863); the towers, which serve as the distinctive "face" of the mill, are in the most danger, the society said.
Broad Street Synagogue (1910)
Esek Hopkins House (1756)
St. Teresa of Avila Church (1883)
Westminster Congregational Church (1901)
The preservation society said that many properties featured on past "most endangered properties" lists have been saved, noting the Masonic Temple, the Foundry, the Shepard Building, and most recently, the Teste Block and Arcade, as examples.]]>
Providence-based LGC+D Wealth Management, formerly an arm of LGC+D LLP, has split from the accounting firm and joined with Eastern Advisors to create the new wealth management firm, which will focus strictly on wealth planning and investment advisory services.
With $80 million under management, Convergence will provide financial planning for families, charitable organizations and qualified retirement plans.
Jerry Dorfman, formerly a partner of LGC+D LLP where he spent most of his career, will become Convergence principal owner with Eastern Advisors former managing partner Ed Siegal.
"This is a merger of two firms that share identical investment and wealth planning philosophies," said Jerry Dorfman, Convergence principal and founder of LGC+D Wealth Management, in a statement. "Given our common values, mutual interest in client service and close proximity, joining forces made sense on every level."
Dorfman and Siegal, met through the independent wealth managers' group BAM Alliance, according to a press release.
"Jerry has been a friend and colleague for years," Siegal said in a statement. "We are completely on the same page regarding the importance of evidence-based investing and putting the interests of clients first in every situation. Being able to consult with Jerry on client situations will be helpful to me and a benefit for the client."
The firm will also be putting a special focus into life and family transitions, including retirement, the sale of a business and the loss of a spouse.
"Families always benefit from well thought out financial planning, smart tax strategies and disciplined investment," Dorfman said. "But during the big transitions we face over the years, having your plan in order is critical."
Dorfman and Siegel will continue to work in their offices in Providence and Fall River. The three-person team will be rounded out by Kristin Dexter, client relationship administrator, who will act as a liaison between Convergence and other professionals.]]>
The Prospect Provider Group is an independent practice association comprised of physicians from Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital.
Dooley's appointment was one of three announced by CharterCare Health Partners, the corporate parent of Roger Williams Medical Center and St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island.
Dooley most recently served as executive director, faculty enterprise and network development, for Women & Infants Hospital. In this position, he was responsible for the operation of a 140-physician operation.
Charlyn A. Feeney was named vice president of compliance and privacy for CharterCare Health Partners. In this position, she will be responsible for overseeing the CharterCare system's compliance with all privacy and confidentiality laws including the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act.
Feeney most recently held the position of director of quality, patient safety and compliance with Lahey Health Behavioral Services in Peabody, Mass.
In addition, James D. Gilmore was named vice president of facilities and property management for CharterCare Health Partners. He will be involved with directing all phases of property, leasing and maintenance operations associated with Roger Williams Medical Center, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and Elmhurst Extended Care.
Gilmore most recently held various roles with the Care New England system and its affiliates, including (acting) senior vice president of clinical support services, vice president of facilities and vice president of properties and infrastructure support services.
CharterCare Health Partners operates 579 licensed hospital beds, employs approximately 2,800 and has annual operating revenue of approximately $330 million, according to a company release.]]>
This was the second month in a row that the Ocean State made the No. 20 spot. It gained 900 jobs, for a 5.7 percent gain, bringing the total number of jobs to 16,800 in December.
North Dakota experienced a 25.7 percent increase in construction jobs, ranking it No. 1 on the list. In December, it had 40,600 construction jobs, 8,300 more than in December 2013.
On a month-over-month basis, Rhode Island ranked No. 34 for construction job growth for its 0.6 percent job gain in December. It gained 100 jobs, as November construction employment was 16,700.
Montana ranked No. 1 for month-over-month job growth with a gain of 2,300 jobs, or 9.9 percent, to 25,600.
Rhode Island was one of 40 states and the District of Columbia that added jobs between December 2013 and December 2014, and one of 38 states that added construction employment between November and December.
Texas added more new construction jobs (47,500 jobs, 7.7 percent) between December 2013 and December 2014. Other states that added a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included Florida (34,300 jobs, 8.9 percent), California (26,000 jobs, 4.0 percent), Illinois (20,200 jobs, 10.6 percent) and Washington (14,100 jobs, 9.5 percent).
Ten states lost construction jobs during the past 12 months. West Virginia lost the highest percentage (-9.1 percent, -3,000 jobs). Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs include Mississippi (-7.5 percent, -4,000 jobs), Hawaii (-4.5 percent, -1,400 jobs) and Arizona (-3.4 percent, -4,300 jobs).
"Part of the reason for the positive December construction employment figures was the exceptionally harsh weather in much of December 2013 and November 2014 and milder than normal weather in December 2014," Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, said in a statement. "Nevertheless, the underlying trend is very positive, with construction employment expanding at more than double the rate for total nonfarm payroll jobs."
Association officials said the latest construction employment figures are consistent with optimism expressed by many contractors in its annual construction hiring and business outlook survey: 80 percent of contractors reported that they plan to add new construction jobs in 2015.
"The construction industry appears on track to add many new construction jobs in 2015," Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's CEO, said in a statement.]]>
Bouchard Restaurant and Inn, and The Spiced Pear, are considered among the most romantic restaurants in America, according to the OpenTable Diners' Choice Awards.
OpenTable, which provides online restaurant reservations, generated the list from more than 5 million restaurant reviews of approximately 20,000 restaurants collected from OpenTable diners between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014.
"If you're seeking to fan the flames of romance, book a table at any of this year's winning restaurants," Caroline Potter, OpenTable chief dining officer, said in a statement. "From amazing ambience and deft service to sumptuous culinary creations and delightful confections, these honorees are experts at creating intimate meals to remember."
Bouchard, a fine French restaurant in a 1785 Georgian-style house, is described on the OpenTable website as having "a warm relaxed ambiance."
The Spiced Pear, in The Chanler at Cliffwalk, offers continental cuisine. "The best of Newport awaits you with endless cliff-side Atlantic views, romantic atmosphere and the highest quality service," its description states.]]>
The 0.5 percent increase in worker pay followed a 0.8 percent advance in the third quarter, the Labor Department said Friday. The agency's employment cost index, which also includes benefits, climbed 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months.
"We're going to view this as kind of a temporary blip and as labor-market slack dissipates, we would expect wage growth to accelerate," said Brittany Baumann, a New York-based economist at Credit Agricole CIB, whose firm correctly projected the rise in the employment cost index.
Bigger paychecks have eluded American workers even as employers added more positions in 2014 than at any time in the last 15 years. At the same time, with the jobless rate approaching the range Federal Reserve policy makers say is consistent with full employment, companies may soon have to consider higher wages to attract and retain workers.
The U.S. economy expanded 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter after a 5 percent advance in the prior three months, another report showed. The slowdown reflected a decline in business spending on equipment and a decrease in military outlays. Consumer purchases increased at a 4.3 percent pace, the fastest since the first quarter of 2006.
Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of stocks remained lower after the reports, falling 0.9 percent to 2,000.50 at 8:36 a.m. in New York. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries also stayed lower at 1.68 percent, compared with 1.75 percent on Thursday.
The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 60 economists called for a 0.6 percent increase in the employment cost gauge. Estimates ranged from gains of 0.3 percent to 0.8 percent. The index measures not only costs of wages and benefits, but also employer-paid taxes such as Social Security and Medicare.
Wages and salaries typically account for about 70 percent of total employment expenses. The ECI data will help shape views of the labor market after the December employment report showed average hourly earnings fell 0.2 percent from a month earlier, the most in records back to 2006.
The ECI tracks the same job over time, so it removes shifts in the mix of workers across industries that is one of the drawbacks of the Labor Department's figure on hourly earnings.
Wages of all employees, including government workers, increased 2.1 percent from the same quarter in 2013, matching the year-over-year rate in the third quarter.
Private wages climbed 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, when they rose 0.7 percent. Pay for state and local government workers advanced 0.4 percent.
Benefit costs for all workers, which include some bonuses, severance pay, health insurance and paid vacations, rose 0.6 percent for a second straight quarter. Compared with the same three months in 2013, benefit expenses were up 2.6 percent.
Company costs for health benefits advanced 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period in the previous year.
As of January, companies with 100 or more workers must cover 70 percent of their employees with health care insurance, as required under the Obamacare health overhaul. The mandate won't apply to small businesses until 2016.
The added compensation costs probably will mean some businesses will see revenues strained, Peter Bensen, chief financial officer of Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's Corp., said on a Jan. 23 earnings call.
"We've got national health care impacting 2015 for the first time," Bensen said. "Especially in this first half of the year, U.S. margins will continue to be a little bit under pressure."
The number of available positions at U.S. employers climbed to 4.97 million in November, the most since January 2001, Labor Department data showed earlier this month. There were 1.82 jobless Americans per opening, down from 2.62 in November 2013.
The latest figure is below the 2-to-1 threshold that typically leads to larger pay increases in about six months as employers compete for a shrinking talent pool, according to research by economists at UBS Securities LLC.
A net 17 percent of managers at small businesses said in December that they'll boost wages, the most since September 2007, according to National Federation of Independent Business survey data.
Wages were one disappointing element in an otherwise brightening jobs market last year. Employers added an average 246,000 workers a month to payrolls, the best performance since 1999. The jobless rate sank to 5.6 percent in December, the lowest since June 2008, and close to the 5.2 percent to 5.5 percent that the Fed has defined as full employment.
A Bloomberg survey of economists shows workers will see higher wages this year as the job market tightens. Hourly earnings for employees on company payrolls will advance 2 percent to 3 percent on average, according to 61 of 69 economists surveyed Jan. 5-7. They climbed 1.7 percent in the year through December.
At the same time, the job market still has pockets of weakness. The share of jobless who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer was 31.9 percent in December, more than twice the average in records dating to 1948.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last year at the central bank's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., that wage growth is understandably low because businesses that avoided trimming paychecks during the downturn are waiting longer to increase them.]]>
The airline will offer two weekly flights on 757 (210 seat) aircraft to the city of Praia on the island of Santiago on Tuesdays and Fridays through June 30, and will add a third weekly flight on Wednesdays during the peak travel season of July through early September. Additionally, connecting service will be available to other Cape Verdean islands: Fogo, Sao Vicente, Sal and Boa Vista, according to information from the company.
"The Cabo Verdean community has a strong presence throughout New England, particularly in Rhode Island and communities surrounding Green Airport. The service has traditionally been geared towards linking family and friends; however, there is a new emphasis on growing it as a tourist destination by promoting the islands' beauty, climate, hiking, surfing and other water sports," the company stated in a news release.
In prepared remarks, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo said, "Our Cabo Verdean community is strong and vibrant, and I want to welcome TACV Airlines to T. F. Green Airport as the first year-round scheduled international service. This will give our citizens a convenient way to travel to see their families and will offer a new, exciting tourist destination from Green. Today's announcement is a true example of how we can work together to move Rhode Island forward and grow the economy through international trade and tourism."
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed called the news a "positive sign" given recent declines in passenger traffic at the airport, which he said coincided with the recession and airline consolidation.
Cape Verde is located about 300 miles off the coast of Senegal. The islands that make up the arrow-shaped archipelago were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century. Cape Verde gained independence in 1975 and remains one of Africa's most stable democratic governments, the company said.
Kelly Fredericks, R.I. Airport Corporation president and CEO, thanked João Pereira, TACV president and CEO.
"Our conversations with him and his staff began in earnest several months ago. We have illustrated a willingness and commitment to this service to make it successful as we serve our Cabo Verdean community and market the service to others as a new tourist destination," Fredericks said.
The addition of the airline was featured at a news conference at the airport Friday afternoon, featuring Raimondo, Fredericks and other officials.
In September, the airport announced that Condor Airlines, a German airline, would begin offering service from Green to Frankfurt starting in June.
T.F. Green also is in the midst of a $110 million investment by the federal government to upgrade the airport, including extending the main runway to accommodate long-haul aircraft.]]>
"Look for another one or two sales this year from RBS," Citizens Ceo Bruce Van Saun said Thursday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. "Their goal that they've set is to deconsolidate us this year, in 2015, which means probably getting below 35 percent" ownership stake.
RBS raised $3.46 billion in Citizens's September initial public offering, one of the largest in the U.S. last year, selling about 25 percent of the consumer and business bank. Cutting its holding further enables the Edinburgh-based lender to boost capital as the U.K. government seeks to return RBS to full private ownership.
"It's ahead of the game, reflecting a pretty strong U.S. market," Mike Trippitt, an analyst at Numis Securities Ltd. in London, said by phone Friday. He has a hold rating on RBS stock. "Whether it's a net gain or loss on disposal is almost less important, the release of risk-weighted assets is significant."
Eliminating RBS's controlling interest in the Providence, R.I.-based lender would enable the removal of Citizens from its balance sheet. That could release as much as 60 billion pounds ($90 billion) of risk-weighted assets and boost RBS's common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of financial strength, by more than 2 percent, Trippitt said. The 80 percent taxpayer-owned lender had a capital ratio of 10.8 percent at the end of September.
RBS, Britain's biggest government-owned lender, isn't able to sell shares in Citizens until March 23. under an agreement at the time of the September IPO. The European Commission has given RBS until the end of 2016, to sell the rest of Citizens with a possible 12-month extension depending on market conditions.
Citizens shares rose 1.6 percent in New York trading Thursday to $24.24, giving a gain of 13 percent since its September debut.]]>