New Jersey's Covenant Bank, headquartered in an 1828 townhouse, has a lobby with a decidedly upscale ambience: hardwood floors, Oriental rugs, and a grandfather clock.

The setting reflects the values of the wealthy customers Covenant was formed to serve. But the young bank was not growing strongly enough to suit the directors, so in 1991 they hired Philip W. Koebig 3d to take charge.

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