When it comes to asset growth and the raising of capital and core deposits, ServisFirst Bank in Birmingham, Ala., is a standout among this decade's start-ups.

Many of these banks depended on residential construction and development lending for growth; ServisFirst capped such loans at 10% of its portfolio when it opened in 2005. Many young community banks neglected to build core deposits, relying on fickle brokered money. ServisFirst, a business bank, created a stable customer base by letting only depositors buy its shares. It also stayed away from acquisitions.

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