WellCare founder Patel is biggest bank backer

Published October 2, 2006

The directors of the proposed NorthStar Bank are putting up $4.06-million of the $18-million they hope to raise to launch the downtown bank.

It's no surprise whose name tops the list: Kiran Patel, the Tampa Bay philanthropist who founded WellCare, will invest $1.45-million in shares of Westchase Financial Group, which will be the bank holding company.

Other directors, contributing between $250,000 and $500,000, include real estate developer Gregory Politis, hedge fund manager Paresh Patel, politician and steel executive Frank Sanchez and lawyer Marty Traber. John Sykes, founder of Sykes Enterprises, is one of the organizers, but not a director, so his stake isn't disclosed in the bank's application to the Office of Financial Regulation.