The recession has claimed another victim: this time, the former head of one of Richmond’s old guard investment banking firms.
Allen Mead Ferguson, the former chairman and chief executive of the former Craigie Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy along with his wife, Mary Rutherfoord Ferguson.
The bankruptcy, filed March 31, lists the Fergusons as having assets of between $1 million and $10 million and debts in the same range.
Craigie was founded in Richmond in the 1920s and was eventually acquired by BB&T.
The bankruptcy filing listed the 20 largest unsecured creditors, who are owed a total of $3.82 million by the Fergusons. Those debts include $1.53 million to EVB, $746,650 to Union First Market Bank and hundreds of thousands to other Richmond locals. A $662,924 secured debt to Wells Fargo was also listed.
Craigie Inc. was a Richmond bond firm that was acquired in 1997 by Southern National Corp., then the parent of BB&T, for an undisclosed amount. In 1998, BB&T struck a deal to acquire Scott & Stringfellow, into which Craigie ultimately folded.
Roy Terry, an attorney with DurretteCrump who is handling the Fergusons’ case, said the bankruptcy of such a prominent local family speaks to the reach of the recession.
“The recession affected the value of both their assets and their income,” Terry said. “ But for the recession, they would have been comfortable.”
Terry said the Fergusons are in their 70s and have been retired for a while.
“The bankruptcy was filed so that they could have control over an orderly liquidation of assets in a manner designed to pay their creditors,” Terry said.
The Fergusons’ million-dollar home on Three Chopt Road in Henrico County was headed to foreclosure, but that was canceled just before the bankruptcy filing.
Other unsecured creditors listed in their bankruptcy include $125,000 owed to an entity called Haulover Creek Development Co. LLC, and tens of thousands to other Richmonders, including Austin Brockenbrough III, Charles Luck and Wallace Stettinius.
Terry said many of those creditors are friends of the Fergusons who tried to help them out of trouble.
The Fergusons are known across town for their involvement in philanthropic efforts, including the Richmond Symphony, the Virginia Historical Society and other organizations.
Terry said the bankruptcy wouldn’t thwart those efforts.
“They fully intend to continue doing those activities,” he said.