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Horizon Bank Undergoes Name Change

December 2005
Horizon Bank Undergoes Name Change

Will now be called Haven Trust Bank

Horizon Bank has changed its name to Haven Trust Bank, effective December 1, 2005. The bank decided to change its name following the entry of another out-of-state bank with the same name into Georgia. "It was a difficult decision, but a Tennessee-based bank is expanding into Georgia and uses the ‘Horizon ' name," explained Mukesh ‘Mike' Patel, board chairman of Horizon Bank and one of the founders. "We don 't want our customers to confuse us in any way with this out-of-state group."

Other than the name, nothing will change at the new Haven Trust Bank. "We remain locally-owned and managed, our existing staff is in place at our two current locations, and our day-to-day operations are being conducted exactly the same way," added Patel "This name change is by choice, not by merger or restructuring ? it will be completely seamless and virtually invisible to our customers."

The bank's plan to add a third location in 2006 on McGinnis Ferry Road near Highway 141 in the John 's Creek area is also on schedule. The bank 's existing locations are on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth and on Lawrenceville Highway in Decatur.

The new Haven Trust Bank will continue to be managed by two veteran Atlanta banking professionals: Ed Briscoe, chief executive officer, and Charles Yorke, president. It is one of only six community banks in the U.S. that 's owned by South Asian Indian Americans.

"Our new name was carefully selected because it conveys that we are a "haven " from banking as usual and that we value the "trust " our customers show by choosing us for their banking needs," said Patel, who also serves as president of Diplomat Hotel Corporation, which owns or operates 18 hotel properties in the southeast, including 10 in the metro Atlanta.

Horizon Bank opened in January 2000 aimed at Atlanta 's small business entrepreneurs, especially among Asian-Americans. Today, it has assets approaching $250 million and a customer base that also includes members of the Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese communities and the area 's business community at large.

The bank has grown about 25 percent annually compared to an industry average of six percent. An important catalyst in the bank 's growth has been the federal government's Small Business Administration loans. Horizon is the third largest lender in Georgia of such loans.

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