Corrections or additions?
These articles were prepared for the October 4, 2000 edition of
U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Just like in 1997, when First Union announced it would
buy CoreStates for $18.3 billion, lots of predictions are being made
by Boston-based Fleet Bank in its proposal to buy Summit Bancorp
Fleet would get 370 branches in New Jersey plus 130 branches in
and Pennsylvania, making it the eighth largest bank in the nation
and taking over from Summit as the largest bank in New Jersey
Along with the purchase price of $7 billion will come $150 million
in job cuts, 75 branch closings, and across the board savings of $275
million. But T. Joseph Semrod, Summit’s CEO who in prior years
any overtures to sell the bank, will stay in place for two more years
and run the New Jersey operations from his current Carnegie Center
headquarters, which now has 384 employees.
In addition to Summit’s headquarters at the Carnegie Center, U.S.
1’s Business Directory for the central Jersey area lists 15 branches
for Summit and nine for Fleet, including the Fleet’s unusual
Solution Center" just a few doors down from the Summit branch
at the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon streets. Other obviously
pairings are in New Brunswick, with Fleet and Summit branches at 385
and 410 George Street, respectively, and in Princeton Junction on
Fleet will trade 1.2 of its shares for each of Summit’s shares, which
represents 2.4 times the book value of Summit shares. On Monday,
2, Summit’s stock closed at $38.06, up $11.50 over the previous
A Boston-based national organization, Neighborhood Assistance
of America (www.naca.com) is trying to stave off takeover changes
by campaigning against Fleet Bank’s fee structure, which they term
"outrageous" and "predatory."
Because Fleet Bank has made more progress with online banking,
clients will enjoy better service in that area. Another area likely
to be streamlined is phone inquiries. Fleet routes all calls through
an 800 number, staffed 24 hours a day, while Summit still uses local
numbers for its branches.
Two women have filed a sexual harassment suit against
two supervisors at William M. Mercer Inc., the Carnegie Center office
of the global firm, Marsh & McLennan. Kathleen M. DalCortivo, of
& Weinroth on State Street in Trenton, is representing the plaintiffs
and has filed a civil action in the Mercer County division of state
The allegations include severe and pervasive sexual harassment, a
hostile work environment, outrageous conduct having the effect of
causing severe emotional distress, negligent infliction of severe
emotional distress, and breach of contract.
One of the women has worked for the firm and its predecessors for
11 years and is a team leader. The other plaintiff was hired last
year. Both are still employed by William M. Mercer. After Dalcortivo
notified the company of the lawsuit, the two individuals named in
the suit were reportedly fired.
Barbara Perlmutter, a representative of Marsh & McLennan Companies,
declined comment on the litigation but gave a statement: "The
intention of all our companies is to maintain a work environment that
is professional and respectful of all individuals. We take all
seriously regardless of the source. We investigate them thoroughly
and promptly and take remedial action where appropriate."
William M. Mercer Ltd., a 55-year-old company, has one office at the
Carnegie Center, headed by Jeremiah Riddle, which constitutes the
financial services and MIS divisions. The other office, which does
employee benefits consulting, was formerly known as A. Foster Higgins.
23 Orchard Road, Suite 1, Box 183, Princeton 08542-0183. John Short,
CEO. 908-281-5100; fax, 908-281-5103. Home page:
A private equity firm based in Chicago, LLR Equity Partners, has made
a nearly $10 million investment in the market research firm. It bought
1,176,458 shares of common stock at $8.50 per share and has warrants
to buy more stock at $12. LLR Equity Partners is a $260 million firm,
and two of its representatives of LLR will join the board of
This sale recognizes that ORC shares are undervalued in the market,
says CEO John F. Short. "It represents the most effective means
of securing the capital needed to continue our aggressive business
expansion and acquisition strategy."
Princeton 08540. Karen Tiller, general director. 609-919-0252;
fax, 609-919-0251. Home page: www.operafest.org/nj.
The professional opera festival organization moved on October 1 from
228 Alexander Street to 29 Emmons Drive, Suite G-50, Princeton 08540.
Phone and fax are new.
Lawrenceville 08648. Jim Magid, regional vice president. 609-895-9636;
Early in October this residential management company, based in Valley
Forge, will open its fourth regional office in New Jersey. Jim Magid
manages condominium and homeowner association communities such as
Lawrence Square Village, K. Hovnanian, Princeton Gate, Campbell Woods,
and Brandon Farms. He is also active in Community Associations of
After graduating from Elmira College (in New York, Class of 1975)
Magid worked in a manufacturing business that had been founded by
his grandfather. The Oxford Division of the Hartford Corporation in
New Brunswick did printing and laminating of plastics and nonwoven
materials. Then he spent nearly 10 years in a residential real estate
management company in New Brunswick, Executive Property Management,
before joining Wentworth.
Albence, site manager. 609-426-1300; fax, 609-426-9475.
Thanks in part to a bulkier product line, Conair will expand on
Road by the end of 2001. With an addition of 200,000 square feet,
the privately-held company will nearly double the size of its 411,000
warehouse and distribution center. It will add 50 workers to the
force of about 350 people and become East Windsor’s second largest
employer, second only to McGraw Hill. Conair moved to East Windsor
from Edison 13 years ago, says John Mayorek, vice president. A
of Seton Hall, Class of 1969, he has been with Conair for 28 years.
Mayorek says the firm expects to have revenues of $1 billion this
year, up from about $900 million last year. Conair makes such items
as Cuisinart food processors, and telephones, and personal care items
such as hairdryers.
The warehouse area has been declared a "foreign trade zone."
That means, says Mayorek, that duty payments need not be made before
merchandise is unloaded from the ship. "We do not have to pay
the duty until the product leaves the premises. It is more of a cash
flow savings," says Mayorek. Duty on hairdryers, for instance,
is typically five to seven percent of the product cost. "It is
not a loophole of any sort."
her husband, Julius Koppelman, endowed the Holocaust Center at Rider
been director of admissions at the Hun School and a portfolio manager
for insurance companies.
contractor and a construction official in Hopewell Township.
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