Dear Shareholders, Customers & Friends,
2017 was another outstanding year for Lakeside Bank. Our continued growth is thanks to our people, who advise and serve Lakeside clients so well. This year’s success is dedicated to all our “Lakesiders” who work hard, innovate and get things done.
Unique among companies of any kind, our people stay. Average tenure is 13 years. 13 years! Amazing, isn’t it? I’m proud of and continually impressed by our staff. We talk about the “Lakeside Extended Family” and it is how we live and work. The teamwork, support and constant focus on “exceeding expectations” for our clients is a pleasure to see.
I’m also proud to announce S&P Global Intel has named us the #1 Bank in Chicago … for the second year in a row, among all banks between $1 and $10 billion in assets.
Which is the perfect introduction to our key financials for 2017:
Net core earnings of $31.2 million represents a 2.04% return on average assets, a 17.25 % return on equity and a 1.9 million increase in net earnings. 2017 wrapped up with our total assets at $1.602 billion, up 13.9% from year ago. This includes $1.282 billion in total loans. Stockholder equity grew from $176.5 million to $185.6 million. Our capital ratios remain substantially above the regulatory “well capitalized” levels. And yes, I love writing that sentence every year!
Our years of sustained growth are just the beginning. We have the size and capabilities to do virtually anything. But Lakeside personal service is the point-of-difference in the banking industry. We customize. Make decisions quickly. Our clients know this. Which is why, just like our people, our clients stay. Completing the extended Lakeside family.
There are three other noteworthy items to report.
First … Marketing. 2017 was year two of our marketing campaign. There are new “Lisa & Phil” radio spots. Our Cubs “Call to the Pen” sponsorship, newspaper and digital advertising, plus quarterly promotions, continued.
The year-end annual quantitative tracking study confirmed our awareness across the Chicago area has continued to increase dramatically. The numbers are impressive and summarized in the Marketing section. Wait until you see our growth and the banks we outrank.
Second … Community Involvement. You’ll be amazed at all we do in our communities! And we don’t just write a check. Lakesiders serve on Boards. And we roll up our sleeves and work. Please see the community section for the list of organizations we actively support all year long.
Third … Education. A crucial societal issue, education is a priority for us. So, in 2017 we launched a year-long pilot program in three elementary schools. Once a month, we talk to kids about how money works. We created fun, involving, specific subject programs on saving, interest, taxes, credit, paying bills. It’s gone well. We’ll expand in the fall.
We also held our first, “Women 1st! ‘Now We’re Cooking!’ Student Chef Competition” in the fall. Our Lakeside Bank Education Awards provided $10,000 in scholarships to three winners. 175 people attended this delicious event, many of whom didn’t know Lakeside. They do now. We’ll expand this event in the fall, too. And there are more education initiatives on tap for 2018!
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, thank you Lakesiders, for your commitment and excellence. And to our clients, and those who will join us in 2018, we look forward to many productive and prosperous years together.
Philip D. Cacciatore
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer