A Chicago community bank executive whose bank was sold to a regional institution is returning to his old stomping grounds to compete with the regional.

Three years after James W. Aldrich sold Lake Shore National Bank to First Chicago Corp., he's returning to community banking through TDI Financial Corp.

TDI, which was created by Mr. Aldrich and other investors, recently agreed to buy Security Chicago Corp. and its subsidiary bank, First Security Bank of Chicago, for $60 a share.

Reports have put the deal's total value at $14.4 million, although the parties involved would not disclose that information.

First Security serves an area of Chicago just north of downtown, including the "magnificent mile" of North Michigan Avenue. It's the same neighborhood where Mr. Aldrich ran Lake Shore National, which First Chicago - now First Chicago NBD Corp. - acquired in 1993.

"We just think it's a very dynamic, exciting market," said Mr. Aldrich. "We want to concentrate on giving customers the kind of service we don't think is available today. That's what many smaller niche banks want to do."

The acquisition is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. It is expected to close during the fourth quarter.

$60 million-asset Security Chicago has been involved in two other agreements to sell since 1990, but funding fell through, according to chairman James D. Polivka. He noted that, although the bank had signed letters of intent with the previous potential acquirers, TDI has signed a more binding definitive agreement.

Mr. Polivka, a retired real estate developer who helped start several community banks, including First Security, said the institution hadn't been on the market since 1994, when he became chairman. "We were sought out in this case," he said.

Mr. Aldrich, who decided to get back into banking after working as a consultant for two years, said he's looking forward to competing against his former institution in its current incarnation as an office of First Chicago NBD.

"They're a very large institution - very well run - but we think there's an opportunity here to be much more people-oriented," he said.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.