Magazine article American Banker

Ryan Selling Bank to Start a 2d

Magazine article American Banker

Ryan Selling Bank to Start a 2d

Article excerpt

Nolan Ryan has agreed to sell his Alvin, Tex., bank for $15 million in cash, but the Hall of Fame pitcher is already planning a comeback.

Mr. Ryan, who was nicknamed "the Ryan Express" during a 27-year playing career that ended in 1993, intends to start a bank in Round Rock this year, said his business partner, B.L. Corley Jr.

Express Bank has agreed to be acquired by the $290 million-asset First Community Capital Corp. of Houston. The deal between the two privately held companies was signed Jan. 10 and is expected to close in early May, Mr. Corley, Express Bank's president and chief executive officer, said in an interview last week.

According to Mr. Corley, Mr. Ryan became interested in banking in 1980, when he was asked to serve on the board of directors at Alvin Community Bank. The all-time strikeout leader, who grew up in Alvin, was then pitching for the Houston Astros. Ten years later, while playing for the Texas Rangers, he purchased Danbury State Bank, renamed it Express Bank, and has been its chairman ever since.

Nigel Harrison, First Community's president and CEO, said Express Bank, which has $85 million of assets and three branches -- two in Alvin and one in nearby Danbury -- fits well with his company's branch network. First Community Bank operates eight branches in the Houston area.

"Alvin is part of our geographic area," Mr. Harrison said. "We already have a branch in Alvin, and this will make us the biggest bank" in the town of 20,000. …

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