It is tough to imagine having turned down $200 million of capital in 2010, when so many bankers were clamoring for cash, but that's what David Provost did.

Provost, the head of a $90 million-asset de novo in Troy, Mich., had secured $400 million of capital from investors, including WL Ross & Co., to chase failures. But it was too much for the first target, he thought, so he returned half of the funds with a promise to come back for it at some point.

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