In 1985, William Cooper left Michigan National Corp. to try to salvage a Minneapolis thrift suffering under the burden of non-performing loans and high-cost debt.

A decade later, the problems that nearly choked TCF Financial Corp. into receivership have been sold or written off. Market capitalization is up to more than $750 million, and the stock of the $7.4 billion-asset thrift was trading recently at a nearly 70% premium over book value.

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