Category Archives: Financial

Via Christi Health delays bills following records conversion

WICHITA — Most people don’t complain too much if bills come late – or perhaps not at all – but some Via Christi Health patients have been wondering about their lack of bills this summer.

On June 1, Via Christi converted financial and medical records for 22 clinics and all its hospitals to a new system.

Part of this process included the laborious task of making sure all the statements that followed would be accurate before they went out.

“We pretty much planned to have a delay in our statements going out,” says Lisa Carruthers, senior administrator for revenue cycle.

“We thought that it might be … eight to 12 weeks.”

Turns out, that’s about what it will be. The first statements should be mailed in about two weeks.

“None of this delay is being counted against any of our patients,” Carruthers says. “Most of them, it gives them that much more time to pay their portion.”

She says there have been a few questions, mostly out of curiosity. Also, a few patients wanted to make sure they hadn’t somehow missed the bills, Carruthers says.

“I can’t say I’ve heard of anybody who was overly concerned about it.”

Anderson Financial Services to open

WICHITA — Georgia-based Anderson Financial Services is going to be opening an east-side office in Wichita.

The company is taking about 4,500 square feet where a rug store used to be at 360 N. Rock Road. A restaurant was going to be open there instead, but the deal fell through.

Anderson is renovating the space and will move in early in 2014. A spokeswoman says it’s a busy time of year for the company and no one could comment on the opening.

Nancy Shih of Re/Max Realty Centre handled the deal.

Speedy Cash expands headquarters with 20,000-square-foot building

WICHITA — About this time last year, Speedy Cash moved its call center from its corporate headquarters on North Ridge Road to the former KGB call center at 8400 E. 32nd St. North, which is along K-96 just east of Rock Road.

Now, the company is adding to its corporate campus with a new 20,000-square-foot building at 3615 N. Ridge Road.

“The company’s continued to grow both domestically and internationally,” says Bill Baker, Speedy Cash’s chief marketing officer. “We quite frankly just ran out of space from a corporate-support standpoint.”

Speedy Cash is owned by three Wichitans and a private equity firm and provides a variety of financial services, such as installment loans, check cashing and wire transfers.

The company has about 250 people in its corporate offices and 3,500 total at 180 Speedy Cash and Rapid Cash sites nationally, 135 Cash Money sites in Canada and 23 Speedy Cash sites in the United Kingdom. It also has Internet sales. The Internet side of the business is almost 20 percent of the company’s overall business.

“It’s a growing percentage,” Baker says.

He says the international business is strong, too.

“The fact that we are a state-licensed lender is paying dividends for us,” Baker says. He says that “puts us in a good position for long-term, sustainable growth.”

“There’s been some scrutiny in the industry of people who choose not to be state licensed,” he says.

The company’s accounting, human resources, marketing and IT departments have grown with its stores. Currently, those functions are in four buildings on the North Ridge Road campus. The new space will be the company’s fifth corporate building.

“As we continue to expand, I think we also continue to create really quality … jobs,” Baker says.

Read More »

Northwestern Mutual RPS Financial Group to move to Hartman Oil Building

WICHITA — Northwestern Mutual RPS Financial Group is moving from its current space near Murdock and Waco to new space at the Hartman Oil Building at 10500 E. Berkeley Square Parkway.

In a news release, managing director Sean Miller said he likes the upscale surroundings and ongoing development near the Hartman building and says the move will position the office to add new employees.

The company, which has 18 financial representatives and their staff members, hopes to add 35 representatives and interns in the next 15 months.

Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual has more than 7,000 financial representatives and hopes to add 5,500 more.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal for the space. Shelden Architecture is the architect, and Icon Structures is the contractor.

Northwestern Mutual will move into its more than 9,100 square feet in December.

A-OK Enterprises sues Joseph Hollander & Craft over incorrectly filed lawsuits

WICHITA — Bruce Harris and his A-OK Enterprises have sued Joseph Hollander & Craft, a past attorney for the company, but no one with the law firm is disputing wrongdoing.

“We knew eventually we were going to get real embarrassed about this, and the time has arrived,” says attorney Steve Joseph.

“We screwed up.”

The issue is over lawsuits that the firm filed to collect from A-OK customers who defaulted on payday loans. The suits were supposed to have been filed under a payday loan statute. Instead, Joseph says they were filed under a worthless check statute. The bank commissioner penalized A-OK $20,000 for the mistake.

Harris doesn’t have a comment on the situation.

“It’s understandable how this would happen unless you look at this from hindsight,” Joseph says. “The attorney responsible for it isn’t with us any longer.”

He says attorney Michael Priddle was fired over the incident.

“Under the law, he was our employee at the time, and we’re responsible …,” Joseph says.

Read More »

Construction begins on one A-OK Center, second one to follow with more after that

WICHITA — Construction started this week at Bruce Harris’ new A-OK Center at New Leaf Plaza at 21st and Amidon, but that’s hardly the only new thing the pawn shop owner has going on.

“Wichita’s economy is starting to come back,” he says. “This shopping center in the middle of town is going to come alive again.”

The former Marina Lakes is now home to a Walmart Neighborhood Market that Harris says is contributing to those “sparks of life coming along.”

Harris also is about to begin building a new center at 410 N. West St.

It’ll be about 19,000 square feet, and the center at New Leaf will be 25,000 square feet.

“It’s going to be a huge place,” Harris says.

His centers at Harry and Oliver and Harry and Broadway are 18,000 square feet each.

The New Leaf center will be the “same thing on steroids.”

“What we’re doing is changing the way people shop,” Harris says. “We have new, used and lease to own.”

Both new centers and his store at Harry and Oliver will have a Better Living shop, which is Harris’ new lease-to-own concept.

New Leaf and West Street also each will have an A-OK Pawn Shop, One Day Jewelry and Repair, Cricket and A-OK Financial Services, which offers check cashing, payday loans, title loans and tax services.

Harris says the New Leaf center will be the most elaborate.

“I’m going to try to make it a lot of fun,” he says. “It’ll be kind of like Cabela’s.”

What he means is he plans a lot of displays and unusual touches that will “make it a really neat retail atmosphere that you’ve never seen in the pawn industry.”

There will be a dramatic 30-foot ceiling at the entrance of the center where Harris hopes to have something fun, such as a small plane or part of a helicopter hanging.

“We’re going to try to work with the Wichita motif.”

Read More »

IMA Financial Group sues former president of its Kansas City and Topeka offices and Lockton Inc. over breach of contract

WICHITA — IMA Financial Group has filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against Douglas Anderson, former president of IMA’s Kansas City and Topeka offices, and his new company, Lockton Inc.

Anderson didn’t return a call for comment, but the lawsuit states he worked for Lockton years ago then went to another company and then to IMA in late 2006.

According to the lawsuit, in late 2009, Anderson signed a confidentiality agreement that included a two-year nonsolicitation clause.

“About one year after entering into the Agreement, Anderson began to orchestrate a scheme to resign from IMA, join Lockton, and solicit IMA’s clients to Lockton,” the suit says.

The suit further says that since Anderson left in January, at least two IMA clients canceled relationships with the company to follow Anderson to Lockton.

Earlier this month, Have You Heard? reported that the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association is ending its 18-year relationship with IMA.

It’s not clear if that is one of the relationships the suit refers to.

Read More »

Wells Fargo Advisors to move North Rock Road office

WICHITA — Wells Fargo Advisors is making a short jaunt down Rock Road from its current space in the former Thorn Americas headquarters near 37th North and Rock Road to new space at the Capitol Federal Savings building near 21st and Rock.

Wells Fargo branch manager Mark Douglass likes the increased visibility the new office will have.

“I love the area of 37th and Rock, but there’s not that much traffic up that way,” he says.

The northeast branch has been in 5,000 square feet since it was a Prudential Securities office.

Then Wachovia Securities bought Prudential followed by A.G. Edwards. Wells Fargo then purchased Wachovia.

“It’s been kind of interesting,” says Douglass, who has been with the firm seven years. “Sit at the same desk and this is about our third business card, I think.”

Four advisors from the northeast Wells Fargo office are moving to the Wells Fargo office downtown, which is former A.G. Edwards space.

There are 30 Wells Fargo advisors in the Wichita area, 10 of whom currently are at the northeast office.

The lease was up at the building, which is part of what’s prompting the move.

“We’ve always had way too much space there,” Douglass says.

The new office, which is on the third floor of the Capitol Federal building, will be in 3,000 square feet.

The move will happen on or around Oct. 22.

You don’t say

“In the early days, I had to count the nickels and the dimes. After we took the company public, I had to watch the quarters — first quarter, second quarter . . .”

Fred Hochberg, president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, speaking to the Kansas World Trade Center Thursday about helping his family’s catalog business, Lillian Vernon, in his younger days

Mid American Credit Union looks at building an east-side branch

WICHITA — Mid American Credit Union is looking at building a new branch on the southwest corner of 29th and Webb in front of the Marriott ExecuStay.

“We’ve been thinking about building there for a long time,” says president and CEO Jim Holt. “We’re just getting closer than we have been.”

The credit union has owned the land for more than seven years.

“We’ve been needing an east-side location for quite a while,” Holt says.

“That’s why we got the property in the first place.”

Mid American owns its branch at 8404 W. Kellogg in front of Home Depot and has partnerships in branches at several other places.

Mid American would partner with other credit unions on its potential east-side space as well.

“Credit Unions are very cooperative in the way they do things,” Holt says.

He says the near future might be a good time to build for a couple of reasons.

“We think probably building costs are down now more than they would be at other times,” Holt says.

The likelihood of an economic recovery in the not-too-distant future is a reason to build now as well, he says.

“About the time it’s ready to open up, things may be better in the economy.”