Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc., a Milwaukee-based registered investment advisor with about $800 million in assets under management, has been acquired by Chicago-based First Midwest Bancorp. The transaction closed Jan. 16, according to an earnings report released this week by First Midwest.
Northern Oak, founded in 1975, is located in the Cathedral Place building at 555 E. Wells St., Suite 1625 in downtown Milwaukee. The company’s services include portfolio management, financial planning, retirement plan services, private equity, insurance, estate planning and trusts, tax services, and business succession plans. It has six employees.
The portfolio management firm added financial planning and other services in recent years, and president David Becker and chairman Mark Zellmer discussed whether to hire more employees or seek a merger with a strategic partner to expand its offerings, Becker said.
First Midwest has about $11 billion in assets under management for clients in 30 states. It has 1,967 employees, about 140 of whom work in its wealth management business. The bank has about $14.9 billion in total assets, $11.7 billion in total deposits, and reported $157.9 million in 2018 net income. It has 117 branches in three states.
Northern Oak will remain a separate entity, as a wholly owned subsidiary of First Midwest, Becker said. The expanded size and capabilities that have resulted from the merger will allow Northern Oak to go after 401(k) business at larger corporations, for example.
“We’re going to grow the way we have been growing,” Becker said. “Now with the bank with us, we have a better opportunity to capture that new business.”
The Milwaukee firm plans to hire additional employees at its 3,100-square-foot office as it grows, he said.
“We are excited to welcome Northern Oak clients and colleagues to First Midwest,” said Bob Diedrich, executive vice president and director of wealth management at First Midwest. “We look forward to continuing to meet the financial needs of Northern Oak’s high net worth clients by providing them with a highly personalized client experience, as well as a broad range of private banking and wealth management solutions.”