Indian American investors assume ownership of High Trust Bank
A group of Indian American investors and business leaders has purchased a controlling interest in a community bank based in Stockbridge, Ga. They include Mukesh "Mike" Patel, R.C. Patel, Dhiru "Danny" Patel, Mukund "Bobby" Patel, Narendra "Tony" Patel, Dr. Gopal Rao and Burt Blackmon. Having renamed it High Trust Bank, they've announced plans to expand operations to Atlanta, Macon and Savannah. Mike Patel serves as chairman of the new High Trust Bank, a position similar to the one he holds at Atlanta-based Haven Trust Bank, which opened in January of 2000 and has grown to about $425 million in assets. According to R.C. Patel, CEO of Diplomat Companies and Haven Trust Bank who serves as vice chairman of High Trust Bank, "High Trust will focus on commercial and residential lending that is targeted towards the next generation of borrowers." Currently, High Trust Bank has assets of $25 million and an experienced staff of community banking professionals that's headed by 31-year veteran Burt Blackmon, who serves as CEO and president. "The bank, formerly known as Southern Horizon Bank, has been serving customers since 1907," said Mike Patel, who is also president of Diplomat Companies.
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