Launching Ann Arbor State Bank
by Vickie Elmer
"It's hard to stop once it gets going," says Ann Arbor State Bank CEO Bill Broucek.
The new bank began selling stock last summer just as national banks like IndyMac were hitting the skids. Yet local investors snapped up 600,000 shares-100,000 more than AASB had initially planned. "We sold it based on the competency of the people involved as well as the economy of Ann Arbor," says Broucek, a fifty-year industry veteran.
AASB's directors include auto dealer Howard Cooper, builder Jake Haas, insurance agent Steve Kleinschmidt, Arbor Springs owner Bill Davis, and doctors from both the U-M and St. Joe's. Along with Broucek and AASB president Peter Schork, they raised $2 million more than planned.
Broucek expects that AASB's 180 investors will also be among its first customers. The bank, which opened in January in the former Anderson Paint store on William, hopes its mix of new technology and old-fashioned connections will attract $120 million in deposits within four years-a goal that, if achieved, would surpass University Bank and all but a handful of other local bank branches. Documents filed with the state reveal that about a third of its staff are drawing senior-level salaries of around $100,000 annually; Broucek and Schork top the list at $120,000.
Broucek sees no irony in starting a bank at a time when most financial news focuses on failures, bailouts, and mergers. He says that many banks are either shrinking or being "extremely, extremely conservative" about making loans. "There's a ton of business out there for those able to lend money," he says. "I get calls every day and have been for months."
[Originally published in February, 2009.]