Mar 8, 2006

5/3 Execs To Form New Bank

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(Toledo, OH) A group of former Fifth Third executives are the principals in an as-yet unnamed new financial services corporation that expects to open for business next March.

Speaking for the group, Larry Boyer said the firm's primary emphasis will be on commercial real estate.

"We are developing a higher end, niche bank that will fill a need in this market," Boyer said. "Our research shows that there is a lot of potential for growth in this market."

Boyer said while companies such as Signature Bank might be competitors, his firm should not be viewed as cutting into a limited regional supply of customers.

"We are targeting a market that is not being fully tapped by local banking groups," he said. "In our view, there is room for everyone to exist and thrive."

Boyer said Capital Bank, a successful startup that was bought out by Fifth Third in 2000 for $234 million, might be considered a "similar model" to the new bank.

"Like Capital Bank, we will be aggressively pursuing investment opportunities overlooked by existing firms," he said. "We will also be offering ‘boutique' services in other specialized segments beyond commercial real estate."

The group's initial startup capital will be between $15 and $25 million. The bank will work with Austin and Associates during the development phase; Boyer said the process of regulatory approval will take between eight and 10 months.

One of the firm's most important features will be the experience of its principals, Boyer said.

"Joining me will be Michael White and Michael Miller, who most recently worked with me at Fifth Third," he said. "We each have over 30 years' experience in banking and financial services. Our customers will be able to tap not only into a source of capital but a tremendous pool of experience."

This article also appears in the Toledo Free Press.

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