Going to Town

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

When the Town Bank of Delafield was founded in 1998, the bank’s one cozy location in docile Delafield served its corporate purposes just fine. Fast forward eight years, and Town Bank is busting at its seams and needs a new corporate headquarters. Town Bank will move its headquarters from Delafield to a new, 49,000-square-foot, two-story building to be constructed on a two-acre parcel at the intersection of Highways 83 and KE in Hartland. The new building will house a new Town Bank branch and all of the company’s operations and administrative functions.

All of Town Bank’s back-office operations are currently housed in its 8,000-square-foot branch at 400 Genesee St., Delafield.

"We’ve just outgrown (the building)," said Jay Mack, the bank’s president and chief executive officer. "We’ve got to add the infrastructure to support our other locations."

Moving the operations and administrative functions to another location is the only option for the company because there isn’t any room to expand the current building, and there aren’t many sites available for more development in downtown Delafield, Mack said.

Space is at a premium in the bank’s current location. Mack’s office is routinely turned into a meeting area, leaving little room for employee training or large meetings.

Those needs will be addressed with the new building, Mack said. Aside from expanded office space, the new site will feature a dedicated training center, a community room, a safety deposit box area and a fitness center in its lower level.

The lower level of the new building will also include an expansion area to accommodate future growth for the company. The new headquarters is expected to be open by the end of the year.

Hartland’s growth, both in high-end residential and commercial development, made it an attractive site for the new headquarters, Mack said.

"Most of our clients are west of (Delafield), not east," Mack said. "There are a lot of subdivisions and businesses in Hartland. We looked at a lot of sites within a 10-minute drive of (Delafield). The intersection of 83 and KE was at the top of our list."

Hartland, in recent years, has started to look a lot like Delafield from a demographic standpoint, according to Jeff Olsen, executive vice president and chief lending officer of Town Bank.

"It’s a logical place for us to move to," Olsen said.

The need for expanded back-office operations reflects Town Bank’s growth. The company has grown from $28.6 million in assets in 1999 to $396.4 million in assets today.

Along the way, the bank received an infusion of capital when the company was acquired in October 2004 by Wintrust Financial Corp., a $6 billion Lake Forest, Ill.-based financial holding company.

"They (Wintrust) have been a great supporter of our growth and give us access to capital that we didn’t have before," said Mack, adding that "decisions are still made here."

Town Bank opened the Town Bank of Madison in 2001 and the Town Bank of Wales last October.

The bank’s core constituents have been affluent consumers and businesses.

"We’ve done a good job of bringing in good people here that are customer-focused," Olsen said. "There’s a lot of enthusiasm and that wears off on the customers. And over the course of time, news travels. The types of experiences that customers have had here have gotten out and helped a lot."

Although Town Bank’s headquarters are moving to the new Hartland building, Mack said he doesn’t want his customers to think the company is abandoning Delafield, where the bank originated.

Mack said the company will retain a retail bank in Delafield, but will move its back-office personnel to Hartland.

"Those are things customers don’t see, and there’s no reason for them to be here (in Delafield)," Mack said.

Most of Town Bank’s commercial bankers will move to the new offices, but one or two will continue working at the Delafield branch, where they will serve current clients.

"There are a lot of businesses that bank with us from the area," Mack said.

Mack will maintain his office in the Delafield branch so he and Olsen can meet with clients that live and work in the area.

"We’ll both be here on a regular basis," Mack said. "We’re not pulling out of Delafield."

When Town Bank moves its operations and administration to Hartland, it will free up space on the second and third floor of its current building in Delafield.

Mack said that space will be filled by employees of Wayne Hummer Investments and the WestAmerican Mortgage Co., both of which are also owned by Wintrust.

Wayne Hummer Investments has both asset and trust management functions, and WestAmerican offers residential mortgages. Both companies are currently housed in leased space across the street from Town Bank’s Delafield location.

"This is a terrific opportunity and a terrific market to sell these services," Mack said. "Now we can’t take advantage of that. We’re too cramped."

In April, Town Bank will open a new branch in Elm Grove, where it hopes to tap into the residential market in eastern Waukesha County and gain better access to commercial markets there and in Milwaukee County. The new leased site will be in about 3,500 square feet of space in the Autumn Grove retail center at North 129th Street and West Bluemound Road.

Opening the new branch is the first step of Town Bank’s two-phase approach for Elm Grove, Mack said. Town Bank currently has an option to purchase a parcel along Watertown Plank Road in Elm Grove, where it wants to build a permanent location. That option is contingent upon the Elm Grove Village Board granting approval for the new bank, and the land could be bought within the next few months, Mack said. The building is still in the design phase, but would span 8,000 to 10,000 square feet.

The bank has signed a three-year lease for the facility on Bluemound Road, Mack said, and might keep that branch open even after it builds the branch on Watertown Plank Road.

"We have not ruled that out if it proves to be a location that generates a lot of deposits," he said.

Jim McMullen, who will be president of the Elm Grove market for Town Bank, is currently interviewing and hiring employees to staff the branch, Mack said. McMullen was hired about six months ago.

"It’s a community with a strong identity with the people and businesses that are there," Mack said. "We don’t believe the area is over-banked, and there is a need for a bank like ours."

Finding the right person to lead a new branch is the most important aspect of Town Bank’s expansions into new markets, both Mack and Olsen said.

"In Elm Grove, we needed to have a market president with experience in that area and metro wide," Mack said.

McMullen previously served in corporate banking at M&I Bank in downtown Milwaukee, where he worked extensively with commercial clients around the metro area. McMullen’s experience will help commercial bankers working in the Elm Grove office better tap into the business community in Milwaukee, Mack said.

The chance to work for a community bank, with the ability to make decisions locally but with a "big loan limit" was too good to pass up, McMullen said.

"This is a lot of fun," McMullen said. "You can make a big difference in a community bank."

"We are evaluating a number of other possible locations for satellite branches in Dane and Waukesha counties," Mack said. "We’re looking right now. It takes 12 to 14 months to get a branch stabilized. Opening one branch a year is a pretty aggressive goal. And in a little over a year, we’ll have done three locations."

Town Bank Timeline

  • 1998 Town Bank of Delafield is founded with one location in Delafield, across the street from its current main branch.
  • 2001 Bank opens a loan processing location in Madison.
  • 2003 Town Bank of Delafield becomes Town Bank, as it begins planning to open more locations.
  • 2004 Town Bankshares Ltd., the parent company of Town Bank, is acquired by Wintrust Financial Corp. of Lake Forest, Ill., for about $40 million.
  • 2006 Town Bank of Wales is opened.

Growth Spurt 1999 2002 2006

  • Total Assets $28.6 million $158.2 million $396.4 million
  • Total Deposits $21.2 million $144.3 million $333.1 million
  • Net Income $625,000 $736,000 $3.8 million

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