A half-dozen cranes dot Bob Malone's view of Denver, showing a burgeoning city and giving the veteran banker a reason to sell his bank.

"The needs of Denver borrowers are bigger; this is becoming a big city," says Malone, chief executive of Steele Street Bank & Trust. "At our size, we're really only able to serve a narrow segment of the market, so we decided to align ourselves with an organization that could reach a wider segment."

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