By Bob Stephens
Pikes Peak National Bank Chairman and CEO John Georgeson and President Robin Roberts met Tuesday with legal representatives of their prospective new owner. Antoun Sehnaoui, a 44-year-old Lebanese banker and businessman, agreed to buy PPNB on May 5, starting the 60-day clock for review by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
“We highly doubt there will be any objections,” said Mark Corallo, a Virginia-based spokesman for Sehnaoui.
Sehnaoui is also chairman of Société Générale de Banque au Liban.
If no complications arise, Sehnaoui will assume the title of chairman in July while Georgeson will retire and Roberts will become CEO.
Georgeson and Roberts declined to comment on the sale.
“The deal had been in the works for several months, at least,” Corallo said. “Mr. Sehnaoui began looking for a U.S.-based bank starting two years ago. He wants to grow the bank and expand it nationally; it’s one of the reasons he wanted a bank with a national charter.”
On his Facebook page, Sehnaoui posted: “Thrilled to be expanding in the USA, a great nation to which I owe my education and so much more.”
Sehnaoui studied international finance and banking at the University of Southern California, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“Mr. Sehnaoui has great love and affection for the U.S.,” Corallo said. “He spent his formative banking years in New York. He thinks the U.S. is a fantastic place to do business and he sees great opportunity here.”
Corallo said that Sehnaoui “may be back next month” to Colorado Springs.
“Mr. Sehnaoui has had several in-person meetings with the owners of the bank and they hit it off great,” Corallo said. “Mr. Sehnaoui was impressed with the employees and how the bank operates.
The Georgeson family has owned PPNB for nearly 40 years. It was founded by a group of Westside businessmen July 1, 1957. Earl Georgeson, John’s father, purchased interest in the bank in the early 1970s and bought out his partners in 1978.
One of the few independent banks remaining in Colorado Springs, PPNB has assets of $88.9 million. PPNB operates three branches and has about 30 employees. The bank’s board, executives and employees will all be retained.
Branches are located at 2401 W. Colorado Ave., 4790 N. Academy Blvd. and 6615 Camden Blvd. in Fountain.
On its website, PPNB emphasizes its desire to perpetuate small business growth in Colorado Springs: “While dedicated to all customers, Pikes Peak National Bank is particularly focused on serving the needs of small business owners in our community. Our goal is to become a resource, an educational provider and a connector for not only our small business customers but all small businesses in the region. We truly believe that a strong business community is beneficial to all who live here. We are determined to do our part in that regard.”
According to the bio on his website, Sehnaoui has extensive business interests in tourism real estate development, the print media and the hospitality industry.