Harris Bancorp keeps Wisconsin plans under wraps

Harris Bancorp isn’t revealing its plans for the CEOs and top level executives of the Wisconsin banks it is acquiring. The transaction is expected to close at the end of February.

Chicago’s Harris Bancorp Inc. and BMO Financial Group recently received all regulatory and shareholder approval for Harris’ acquisitions of Ozaukee Bank and Merchants and Manufacturers Bancororation Inc. The transactions are expected to close later this month.

However, the larger bank corporation has not made public its plans for the chief executive officers and other top level executives of the Wisconsin banks it is acquiring, and those plans may still be in flux.

A Harris spokesman said late last week it was premature to discuss plans for the executive teams of either banks, but Harris would discuss its plans once the deal is closed.

High-level bank executives in both M&M Bancorp and Ozaukee Bank said they had not been told what their roles will be when the bank finalizes its acquisition. However, neither expressed concerns for their futures.

"I don’t think I’m concerned about a job," said Joe Murry, president of Lincoln State Bank, one of the banks owned by M&M Bancorp.

Jim Rothenbach, president and chief executive officer of Ozaukee Bank, declined to discuss the plans Harris has for his bank’s executive team.

The transition of the acquisition of both Ozaukee Bank and the M&M Bancorp banks will take at least six months, Murry said. Both Ozaukee Bank and the M&M Bancorp banks will likely operate like independent banks until all software, hardware and product conversions are completed.

M&M Bancorp, based in New Berlin, operates 34 full service and 11 limited service branches, most concentrated near Milwaukee. M&M operates banks and financial service companies under the names of Lincoln State Bank, Grafton State Bank, Community Bank Financial, Fortress Bank, The Reedsburg Bank, Wisconsin State Bank, Community Financial Services and CFG Mortgage.

Ozaukee Bank, based in Cedarburg, has six full-service and two limited service locations.

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