BANKING: Winner & Champion

Taller than egos, Stetsons or oil rigs, the tallest things in Texas are banks. Busting out all over in an unparalleled boom, their huge buildings dominate the skyline in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth. Texas has more banks than any other state: 968 with total deposits of $10.4 billion, combined resources of $11.6 billion. Texas bankers succeed by fighting for business like warring supermarket operators on a Saturday afternoon —while also wearing Homburg hats and speaking in muted tones. The man who best combines such Texas talents is taut, wiry, fiercely competitive Fred F. Florence, 67, head of...

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