New owners will change MW Bank’s name

Milwaukee-based MW Bank has been purchased by an investment group led by David Davis, president and chief executive officer, and Michael Peters, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Davis, Peters and their investors purchased the controlling interest formerly held by Roger Dirksen, the bank’s chairman. In total, the investors group raised more than $20 million for the purchase. Dirksen, along with Davis, Peters and several local investors, purchased the bank in 1994.

Millwaukee-based MW Bank has been purchased by an investment group led by David Davis, president and chief executive officer, and Michael Peters, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Davis, Peters and their investors purchased the controlling interest formerly held by Roger Dirksen, the bank’s chairman. In total, the investors group raised more than $20 million for the purchase. Dirksen, along with Davis, Peters and several local investors, purchased the bank in 1994. "When we first purchased the bank, the strategic plan was to be here seven to 10 years," Davis said.

However, the bank struggled during the economic slowdown in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Its owners recognized that selling the bank then would not have given their investors the return they wanted. "The highest and best value for the bank was to continue it on," Davis said. The sale was about five years in the making, Davis said. "It was a 60-month project," he said. "I spent time working with my colleagues to create asset quality and to right the ship from 2000, and we got back to stable earnings in 2005."

A request by MW Bank to change its name to Securant Bank & Trust was recently approved by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Davis said the name change will be rolled out in June, and he declined to discuss it further. MW Bank is now offering several new services that complement its focus on commercial lending, Davis said. Over the last six months, the bank has hired new managers for wealth management, trust management and private banking, services the bank is rolling out because of customer requests.

"Wealth management, private banking and trust management is a natural transition for our clients," Davis said. "Our clients are aging. We’ve lost five our clients in the last year when they sold their businesses. They deposit the money in the bank, because they trust us, and ask us what they should do with it. And if we are unable to provide them with resources, they go away."

MW Bank opened a new branch in Slinger earlier this month and is planning additional locations in southeastern Wisconsin, Davis said. "I hope to have one more in the fourth quarter this year or the first quarter of next year," he said.

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