Joseph D. Barnette Jr.
The Indianapolis Star Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News The king-of-the-hill of Indianapolis banking is retiring.
By Chris O'Malley,
2001 Jun. 15--
Joseph D. Barnette Jr. will vacate his 48th-floor office in the Bank One Tower in December, the highest-ranking executive to have
survived mergers involving the one-time "big three" Indianapolis-based banks.
Ironically, the merger between Bank One and NBD First Chicago Corp. made Barnette even more valuable in recent years. The
chairman and chief executive officer of Bank One Indiana quarterbacked the challenging merger of the banks' overlapping Indiana
"Joe has always been a very strong, stabilizing force for the bank, and I think he did a lot to make the transition as good as it could
be,' said Douglas Austin, a Toledo, Ohio, banking analyst.
"He got a lot done the nice way,' said Robert McKinney, chairman of First Indiana Corp., now the largest publicly traded bank based in
Barnette, who will turn 62 in August, said he won't disappear. He plans to remain in Indianapolis and still serves on numerous boards.
"The way I'm putting it is: I'm retiring from Bank One, and we'll see what's next,' Barnette said. "My wife told me that I'd need to
figure out what my next steps are because she doesn't want me in the house.'
Taking over will be Larry A. O'Connor Jr., 57, president of Bank One Indiana. Although he's taking on Barnette's responsibilities, the
position of chairman and CEO will not be filled. That's consistent with Bank One operations in other states, said bank spokeswoman
Barnette's departure has an odd connection to his arrival. After graduating from Wabash College in 1961, the South Bend native
received job offers from both Indiana National Bank, which NBD bought in the early 1990s, and from American Fletcher National Bank,
which Bank One purchased in 1987
"Here I am, 40 years later, working for them both,' Barnette said. "Who would have actually thought that these two competitors
would become one?'
Barnette was president of Bank One Indiana for 12 years, and he became chairman in 1994.
Former chairman Frank McKinney died in a plane crash in Greenwood in 1992.
One of Barnette's biggest challenges came three years ago, when Bank One acquired First Chicago NBD. Some Indiana operations
were sold to Memphis, Tenn.-based Union Planters to allay antitrust concerns. The remaining operations had to be combined,
res ulting in some job losses and reassignments.
The combination also res ulted in service problems that left customers fuming. "Everybody is feeling pretty good about where the
organization is today,' said former NBD Indiana head Andrew Paine.
NBD and Indiana National Bank veteran O'Connor credits former competitor Barnette for team-building. "Anybody that says a merger,
an in-market merger, isn't challenging probably has on rose-colored glasses.'
Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce President John Myrland said a change in leadership is a fact of life. But he noted that
Barnette is the latest of a number of longtime leaders who are retiring. "You miss their understanding of how things work, their history,
the background they bring.'
Barnette serves on the board of a number of organizations and is co-chairman of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.
JOSEPH D. BARNETTE JR.
Title: chairman and CEO of Bank One Indiana, with 4,000 Indianapolis-area employees.
Background: South Bend native. Graduated from Wabash College in 1961. Started career at American Fletcher National Bank in
Indianapolis. Became CEO of First National Bank of Evanston, Ill., in 1972, and CEO of Chicago's Lake View Trust and Savings Bank
in 1979. President of American Fletcher in 1982.
Community: Serves on boards of state and city chambers of commerce, Pacers Foundation, Indianapolis Opera. Chairman of board of
trustees of Wabash College. Co-chairman of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.
Joseph D. Barnette Jr. Return to Meridian Insurance Group
Director, Chairman of Risk & Credit Policy Committee and Member of Compensation & Management Development Committee, Old
Joseph D. Barnette, Jr. serves as President of the Sexton Group. Mr. Barnette has extensive experience in financial services, holding
several executive leadership positions with banks in the Midwest. Mr. Barnette served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of
Bank One, Indianapolis, NA from January 1990 to October 1994 and again from October 1994 to March 1997. He served as the Chief
Executive Officer of Banc One Indiana Corporation from January 1993 to December ... 1998 and its President and Chief Executive
Officer from July 1990 to January 1993. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lake View Trust and Savings Bank and
The First National Bank of Evanston. He served as Chairman of Banc One Indiana Corporation from January 1993 to December 1998.
Mr. Barnette served as the Chairman of Bank One, Indiana, NA, since from 1999 to 2002. He has been Director of Old National
Bancorp since January 27, 2005. He has been a Director of Oak Street Financial Services Inc., since 2002, IPALCO Enterprises Inc.,
since January 1993 and Meridian Insurance Group Inc., since 1988. He serves as a Director of Indianapolis Power and Light Company
(IPL), a subsidiary of IPALCO Enterprises Inc. Previously, he held various management positions with American Fletcher National Bank,
the predecessor to Bank One Indiana. Mr. Barnette served as a Director of IWC Resources Corp. since 1983. His community
involvement includes service on various boards including the Arthur Jordan Foundation, Women's Fund of Central Indiana, the Pacers
Foundation, Indianapolis Opera, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. In addition,
Mr. Barnette is a trustee emeritus of National-Lewis University and serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees at Wabash College. Mr.
Barnette is a member of the Economic Club of Indianapolis and Meridian Hills Country Club. Mr. Barnette earned degrees at Wabash
College and Indiana University. He also is a graduate of Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.
Joseph D. Barnette
Old National Bancorp Evansville , IN
Mr. Barnette, 70, was elected to the Board in 2005. He is Chairman of the Risk and Credit Policy Committee and a member of the
Compensation and Management Development Committee. Mr. Barnette retired as President of The Sexton Companies in
April 2009, an apartment development and management company, where he served since 2002 following a 40-year career in banking
which concluded in 2002 when he retired as Chairman & CEO of Bank One Indiana Corp. Mr. Barnette, 70, was elected
to the Board in 2005. He is Chairman of the Risk and Credit Policy Committee and a member of the Compensation and Management
Development Committee. Mr. Barnette retired as President of The Sexton Companies in April 2009, an apartment development
and management company, where he served since 2002 following a 40-year career in banking which concluded in 2002 when he
retired as Chairman & CEO of Bank One Indiana Corp