The planned merger of Old National Bancorp. And First Midwest Bancorp has received approval from the Federal Reserve, clearing the way for the deal to close in the near future.
When the deal was announced in June, the banks said it would combine the 10th and 11th largest banks in the Midwest into the 6th largest in the region.
The banks both entered the Wisconsin market via acquisition. Old National entered the Milwaukee market in 2016 with the acquisition of AnchorBank. First Midwest significantly expanded its Milwaukee presence in recent years with acquisitions of Northern Oak Wealth Management and Park Bank.
Combined, the two banks have a little more than 1.3% of deposits in Wisconsin at $2.66 billion. First Midwest has four offices in the state, all in the Milwaukee metro area. Old National has 20 offices in the state, including three in the Milwaukee area.
Kevin Anderson will lead the combined organization as market president in Wisconsin, a role he holds at Old National. He said he is humbled by the opportunity to lead the combined business and said there is tremendous talent within both banks.
Anderson said there are no plans to combine existing branch offices for the banks and the companies are evaluating options for downtown office accommodations.
"Whatever we choose to do in downtown Milwaukee we do want it to reflect our commitment to Milwaukee and to southeastern Wisconsin," Anderson said, acknowledging the decision is complicated by the combination of two businesses amidst a constantly changing pandemic, evolving preferences for remote work and a tight labor market. He added the needs of Northern Oak Wealth Management, part of First Midwest Bank, adds another element to consider.
Federal Reserve approval was the final regulatory step and the banks now except the deal to close on or before March 1.
"Receiving Federal Reserve approval paves the way for us to create a premier Midwestern bank that will provide significant benefits for our clients, team members, communities and shareholders,” said Jim Ryan, chief executive officer of Old National.
Ryan will remain CEO of the combined bank. Mike Scudder, currently CEO of First Midwest, will be chairman of the combined company.
"This partnership is, at its core, a growth strategy, and as a combined organization, we will be in an even stronger position to invest, grow and innovate in talent, capabilities and services that will further set us apart as a market leader across the Midwest," Scudder said.
After closing, the organization will operate under the Old National Bancorp and Old National Bank names with headquarters in Evansville and Chicago.
Branch locations will use their current names until the system conversion is complete, likely in July 2022.