Blockchains CEO Jeffrey Berns buys Kirkwood Bank of Nevada
LAS VEGAS — Jeffrey Berns, the CEO of Blockchains, LLC is purchasing Kirkwood Bank of Nevada.
The news was reported in a Monday, July 1, joint press release from JBNV Holding Corp and Kirkwood Bancorporation of Nevada, Inc., which is the parent bank holding company for Kirkwood Bank of Nevada.
JBNV Holding Corp is led by Berns. According to a July 1 story from The Nevada Independent, the deal cost $28 million, adding that Berns will own the bank through the separate JBNV Holding Corp, and not through the Blockchains company that owns more than 67,000 acres in Northern Nevada.
“Purchasing the bank was basically security for me to make sure that Blockchains and myself had access to the financial system,” Berns told The Nevada Independent. “But secondarily, it’s to create an environment where the blockchain ecosystem, the legitimate businesses out there who are trying to build projects that are going to empower the individual and better the world, that they have a bank that understands what they’re doing and isn’t fearful.”
According to the press release, Kirkwood Bank of Nevada was established in 2008 and operates two branches in Las Vegas. As of March 31, 2019, the bank had approximately $88.6 million in assets, $72.8 million in total loans and leases, and $74.8 million in deposits.
“… We intend to retain both of the Kirkwood Bank of Nevada branches in Las Vegas and to strategically grow the bank’s footprint in the region, all while honoring the bank’s emphasis on building long-term relationships with, and providing exceptional levels of service to, its customers,” Berns said in the press release.
John Dru, president of Kirkwood Bank of Nevada, called the merger “a tremendous opportunity.”
“For us, it was about finding the right partner, someone who would mirror our image and help us expand our relationships throughout the bank’s market area,” Dru said in the release. “To team up with a group that has shown a very strong commitment to the state will not only strengthen our banking relationships but will provide the resources for continued growth in this highly competitive marketplace.”
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.