When Kathleen K. Flemming decided to step down as Frontenac Bank’s president, she knew she would be leaving the job she had wanted since the fifth grade.

But Ms. Flemming, 41, said last week that she is resigning from the Earth City, Mo., bank to spend more time with her daughter, Kathryn Alexis, who was born March 2. Her last official day will be Aug. 1.

“It was a very emotional decision, but one that was easy to make,” she said.

Ms. Flemming founded Frontenac in January 1999 after a seven-year stint at NationsBank Corp. in St. Louis. In its two and a half years Frontenac’s assets have grown more than sixfold, to $92 million, and it has reached profitability more quickly than most banks.

According to numbers released by the Federal Reserve at its bank start-up conference in Chicago, the average return on assets last year at the 211 banks that opened in 1999 was minus-1.1%. Frontenac’s was 0.03%.

“Our investors are very happy,” Ms. Flemming said. “We’ve been the best investment in their portfolios recently.”

Frontenac’s frugality is one reason it has performed well — Ms. Flemming came in on weekends in the early days to do janitorial work — but so are the relationships she had established at NationsBank, where she created a lucrative division that managed wealth for professional athletes. When she left to start Frontenac, many stars, including those from hockey’s Blues, baseball’s Cardinals, and football’s Rams, all St. Louis teams, transferred their money to Frontenac.

In fact, Ms. Flemming will stay on as a consultant, because it is important to her and to Frontenac “that those relationships are continued and enhanced,” said Robert D. Roberson, chief financial officer and senior vice president. He will be interim president while the bank’s board searches for a successor.

Though Ms. Flemming is leaving full-time banking, motherhood won’t take her out of the industry. She said she plans to do consulting work for banks and small businesses, hit the lecture circuit, and work on a book, whose working title is “When It Doesn’t Last Forever,” about her experiences helping professional athletes financially and personally.

She will also continue to be part of the St. Louis Sports Commission, an organization that tries to bring regional and national sporting events to the city.

When asked which sport is her favorite, Ms. Flemming hesitated. After considering her business relationships with the Blues, Cardinals, and Rams, and their presidents, she named golf. “It’s a safe sport, and I don’t have to put on any equipment,” she said.


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