Meet Stephen Lange Ranzini

thumbnail_Stephen's Head Shot High ResStephen Lange Ranzini is president and CEO of University Bank and president and CEO of University Bancorp, Inc. (Listed OTCQB under symbol UNIB.) He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and grew up in Somerville, New Jersey area, where his father was a pioneering civil rights advocate for the Italian-American, African-American, Polish-American and Jewish communities in Central New Jersey.

At the age of 23, after graduating from Yale University as a needs-based scholarship student, Ranzini convinced Bank One Corporation to lend $3.2 million to a newly formed corporation of which he was president & CEO the monies necessary to buy a bank in a leveraged buyout, assisted by his family. He then became the youngest bank holding company president in the U.S.A. in July 1988.

Under his leadership, University Bank has become one of the top performing banks in the country. We have won the “Banker of the Year” award from both the American Bankers Association & American Banker magazine. Our track record includes:

  • American Banker newspaper declared us the #1 performing publicly traded U.S. bank based on ROE in 2020, 2016 & 2015, after being #2 over the period 2012 to 2014, and #3 in 2017.
  • For the 16 years from 2004 to 2020, University Bank’s annual revenue grew an average of 20.9% per year and its return on equity has averaged 20.0%.
  • Bank Director magazine rated our management team as one of the 10 best in the U.S., just behind JPMorgan Chase Bank and just ahead of PNC Bank, rated our growth strategy as the best in the U.S. of any bank, and rated us as the second-best community bank in the U.S.

34 years ago when he joined University Bank, it had just 21 employees & managed $34 million in assets. Today we have 537 employees, manage over $38 billion in assets, originate over $2 billion in loans annually & serve over 195,000 customers.

Ranzini has received national media attention from NPR and The New York Times for his role in founding faith-based lender UIF Corporation, a subsidiary of University Bank, which serves the large number of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Christian customers who wish for religious reasons to avoid paying or receiving fixed interest contracts.

University Bank’s faith-based lending program has been highlighted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. University Bank received the American Bankers Association’s 2009 Community Bank Award for its achievements related to this innovative program.

In 2021, Ranzini received a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Lifetime Achievement Award from Crain’s Detroit Business for his successful efforts to end mortgage redlining in Ypsilanti, Michigan and for the faith based lending program he founded.

As a needs-based scholarship student, Ranzini graduated Magna Cum Laude from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1982, and had the following honors: Honor Society, 1982; Recipient of Negley American History Prize; Westinghouse National Science Talent Search (now known as the Regeneron Science Talent Search), Semi-Finalist (Economics).

As a needs-based scholarship student, Ranzini graduated from Yale College in 1986, earning a BA with a Double Major: East Asian Studies (Japanese) and (Economic) History. While at Yale, he was involved in many extracurricular activities including serving as Co-Founder and Founding Publisher, 1986, of “The Yale Herald” weekly newspaper; Co-Founder and Founding Editor-in-Chief, 1984-1986, “Yale Business Bulletin” monthly economics and business magazine; and Chairman and Managing Director, 1984-1986, Yale College Student Investment Group, which manages a portion of Yale University’s Endowment.

Ranzini served as the President of the Yale Alumni Association of Michigan, from October 2003 to January 2009, and as one of the 350 Delegates to the Yale University, Assembly of Yale Alumni, from August 2004 to June 2007.

Ranzini served as the U.S. delegate to the United Nations’ committee, UN CEFACT TBG5, from April 2003 until July 2011. UN CEFACT is the global technical standards setting body for the key technology, XML. The United Nations’ TBG5 Committee, during this time, created and maintained all XML technology standards for financial services for the World. During that time, he also served thrice as a U.S. Delegate to the International Organization for Standardization, the global standards setting body for financial services, ISO/TC 68, from June 2004 to June 2007. ISO/TC 68 is the global technical standards setting body under ISO for financial services.

Ranzini was a member of the board of directors of ANSI ASC X9 from April 2004 to September 2011 and rejoined the board in August 2018. ANSI ASC X9 is the U.S. technical standards setting body under ANSI for financial services. He has been a member of the Federal Reserve System’s Remittance Coalition since its founding in 2011. In July 2015, the Federal Reserve System appointed him as one of only five bank executives nationwide to the Federal Reserve System’s Secure Payments Steering Committee, which designed the security criteria for the new Federal Reserve Real-Time Payments System, FedNow. He has served since December 2020 as the Chair of ANSI ASC X9’s Real-Time Payments Study Group which is in charge of technical standards related to the new real-time payment systems being built in the U.S.