Shifting Gears

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

The Irwin Union Bank branch in downtown Milwaukee is changing direction. When it opened about one year ago at 555 N. Plankinton Ave., Irwin Union’s primary focus was on private banking services for high net-worth individuals. Now, the bank is beginning to branch out, offering more services in traditional commercial banking.

Steve Corbisier, who was senior vice president at the bank when it opened, was recently promoted to senior vice president of private banking and wealth management on the national level for Irwin Union. Tim Schadeberg was hired to assume Corbisier’s former position and has been named senior vice president and Milwaukee market manager.

Although Corbisier is still based out of the Milwaukee bank, he spends much of his time traveling. Schadeberg now oversees the day-to-day operations of the Milwaukee branch.

While Corbisier’s background includes extensive experience in private banking and wealth management, Schadeberg’s experience is in commercial banking. One of the reasons he was hired at Irwin Union was because of that experience, Corbisier said, because the bank wants to build its commercial banking presence in the Milwaukee market.

"We’re going back to the foundation of the organization," Corbisier said.

By adding Schadeberg to Irwin Union Bank’s Milwaukee team, the bank has filled out its roster, Corbisier said.

"Steve had the private banking experiences and experiences on the retail side," Schadeberg said. "I’m bringing in the commercial lending and real estate (experience)."

Irwin Union Bank is based in Columbus, Ind., and has locations in Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. The Irwin Union Bank and Trust has banks in Indiana, Michigan, Utah and Nevada.

Before he was hired by Irwin Union, Schadeberg worked for Ozaukee Bank. Taking the job with Irwin Union was an opportunity to advance his career and work with a new bank that has both small-bank customer service and big dollars behind it, Schadeberg said.

"It was an opportunity to run the market," he said. "I got to come into a situation where Steve (Corbisier) did all the hard work. Milwaukee is one of the bank’s larger markets – there’s lots of room for this branch to grow yet."

Hiring Schadeberg, with his experience in commercial banking, is an opportunity for Irwin Union’s Milwaukee branch to return to the bank’s roots while expanding its offerings, Corbisier said.

"We’ve got the private lenders and bankers in here," he said. "We are committing our national business model to Milwaukee. We opened with a different operating platform, and now we’re going back to our roots."

There were several commercial lenders in place when Schadeberg was hired in October 2005, Corbisier said, but he’s added two more – a commercial lender and another that specializes in commercial real estate. Schadeberg is also planning to hire two more commercial lenders this year, but said he’d hire more if the right people can be found.

"If I shook a tree tomorrow and found three people, three would be hired," Schadeberg said.

The branch will also hire one more deposit salesperson, he said.

The bank’s commercial lenders need to have extensive experience in the Milwaukee area, and as a result, are tough to find, both Schadeberg and Corbisier said.

"We will hire as many quality bankers as we can find," Corbisier said. "We’re more committed to this market, and more bullish on this market."

"We’re trying to appeal to our client base – business owners," Schadeberg said.

Although Irwin Union has only one location in Wisconsin, services like a courier and reversal of ATM fees for other banks has allowed it to gain a foothold in the Milwaukee market.

Irwin Union isn’t considering another Milwaukee location for the bank now, Schadeberg said. Instead, the bank’s five-year plan includes adding branches in the Fox Valley and Madison areas.

The downtown location currently occupies about 6,300 square feet of space, although the bank has reserved 9,300 square feet in the former Gimbel’s parking garage.

The bank should occupy all of that space by the end of this year, Schadeberg said, because of new staff and the potential for the bank to do some of the underwriting for its private banking practice across the nation in the Milwaukee office.

While the Milwaukee branch of Irwin Union Bank is part of a larger corporation, the local branch is able to make its own decisions on loans and other applications, both Corbisier and Schadeberg said.

"Tim and the local committee are making the decisions," Corbisier said.

"If I am in favor of a loan, and I want it approved, it will get approved through this office," Schadeberg said.

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