Signature Bank expands to Milwaukee

Chicago bank opens loan production office downtown

Chicago-based Signature Bank is expanding into the Milwaukee market.

Michael Weber

The privately held middle-market business bank opened a loan production office at 1000 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee earlier this month. Michael Weber has been hired to serve as vice president of commercial lending and will run the new office solo for now. Over the next few years, Signature plans to grow Milwaukee employment to 15 to 20 employees.

Weber has more than 10 years of commercial banking experience, most recently as vice president in corporate banking at Associated Bank. There, he managed a large loan portfolio for commercial and industrial customers with revenues greater than $20 million. In his new role, Weber will focus on middle market, privately held businesses in Milwaukee and surrounding areas. He holds a bachelor’s in business from Indiana University.

Since it is a small business itself, Signature works with businesses from almost the beginning, when they have revenues in excess of $1 million, and stays with them as they grow, Weber said.

“I think the Milwaukee market will respond well to the way Signature Bank does business,” said Weber. “I wanted to work for an organization that promises quick turnaround time and really means it. It’s rare for a bank to be as nimble as Signature, where the co-founders of the institution are readily available and actively involved in making decisions on deals.”

“Expanding to Milwaukee makes sense for Signature Bank,” said Mick O’Rourke, co-founder and chief executive officer of Signature Bank. “As a proud alum of Marquette University, I started my banking career in Milwaukee and have maintained strong relationships with friends, customers and shareholders in the area. We look forward to expanding the reach of Signature Bank there.”

Signature Bank, which was founded in 2006, has $674.2 million in assets. The company also has a retail banking arm. It has two branches in the Chicago metropolitan area. A spokesperson for the bank said it does not plan on adding retail branches in Milwaukee at this time.

Since the beginning of the year, commercial and industrial loan demand has increased 15 percent at Signature Bank driven by post-election certainty, O’Rourke said, which helped solidify its decision to expand.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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