FLEMINGTON, N.J. - J. Kirby Fowler, president and chief executive of Flemington National Bank and Trust Co., is taking early retirement after 24 years with the bank.

Nathan C. Collins, who previously was president and chief executive of Dallas-based BancTexas Group Inc., succeeds Mr. Fowler. Mr. Collins also served as executive vice president of Valley National Bank of Arizona.

Mr. Fowler elected to retire "to pursue other avenues within the financial industry," the company said in a release.

"I have always wanted to share my experiences as a bank executive officer and a former member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with others interested in pursuing a career in finance," Mr. Fowler said. "For this reason, I have decided to enter the teaching and consulting profession, although I fully intend to stay active in the community and remain a director on the board of Flemington National Bank."

Flemington had $281 million in assets in 1994 and returned 0.80% on average assets.

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