Friday, June 16, 2006

Reaching back for new bank's name

Jeff Smith and George Lentz, two of four Classic Cos. owners and executives who are majority owners of newly minted Central Bancorp, didn't choose the name for their new bank holding company out of thin air, but instead reached back into the past.

Both worked for Central Bank and its holding company, Central Bancorporation, in the mid-1980s in Colorado Springs before forming Classic homebuilders in the early 1990s. Central was later acquired by what is now U.S. Bank, one of the nation's largest banking firms.

Central Bancorp began meetings earlier this week with state and federal bank regulators to open a new bank that will be called Central Bank & Trust in northern Colorado Springs by early next year.

The company, which employs 50 and also includes Classic's mortgage and title insurance units as well as investment management and trust operations of The Corundum Group, may buy and existing local bank instead of creating its own. Besides Smith and Lentz, Classic CEO Doug Stimple and Classic Executive Vice President Dan Winter own 51 percent of Central Bancorp, while Corundum's Ron Johnson and Steve Condon own the remaining 49 percent.

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