Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ingram steps down at Goldleaf

David Ingram (left), chairman and CEO of Ingram Entertainment, has left the table at Goldleaf Financial Systems, according to GFSI's recent filing. Goldleaf's management team is mostly in Norcross, Ga., while a major operations center and some execs are here in Brentwood. Ingram, 45, will keep two hands in banking: He's apparently leaving Goldleaf with 40,067 shares of the company; and, he's on the board of Nashville's stylish Avenue Bank. Reports indicate Goldleaf kept Ingram busy in eight audit-committee meetings last year. Ingram's seven-year watch inside GFSI ended with a 2007 that saw two CFOs and outside CPAs (they dismissed Grant & Thornton and hired E&Y) come and go, a run on the stock, problems integrating acquired companies and only modest success in migrating customers from the legacy BusinessManager offering to ACH and related software and services. Management failed to meet the board's performance expectations for 2007, leading to a restructuring of exec compensation that places even greater emphasis on EBITDA, integration of acquired operations and other metrics. Some investor message boards recently carried posters' complaints of executive compensation and lagging returns. The company is now absorbing Alogent Corporation, the $42 million Atlanta-area purchase it closed in January. The acquisition occasioned a stock run-up, and then a return to recent-normal altitude. The pressures on Goldleaf today seem, from the outside at least, strikingly similar to those that plagued predecessor Private Business, when reporter David Fox chronicled its struggles in his 2000 NashvillePost.com piece here. Seven months ago, similar calls for a fatter bottom line were heard during a conference call with analysts. The company 1Q08 results are due next Monday (May 12). It has previously declared 2008 goals of $87 million in revenue and $15 million in EBITDA (vs $56.7M and $6M in 2007, on negative annual EPS). Whatever the results, the company's Atlanta technology staffing is likely to grow, as Brentwood-based staffing declines, along with the aging BusinessManager offering.

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