When Mutual Savings Bank in Milwaukee decided to buy an in-state rival, it lacked one key ingredient: money.

The depositor-owned institution could not pay with its own stock. Nor did it want to go public - because regulators would have forced it to become overcapitalized. So it compromised, filing to form a mutual holding company. "We realized we needed to raise some capital to do the acquisition," said Michael T. Crowley Jr., Mutual's president and chief executive officer. "But if you have too much capital, it's hard to give a desirable return to investors."

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