Town Bank to open downtown Milwaukee office

Hartland-based Town Bank will open a loan production office at 111 E. Kilbourn Ave. in late July or early August, the bank’s first foray into Milwaukee.

Town Bank, which has four branches in Waukesha and one in downtown Madison, has made loans to Milwaukee-based companies since it was formed about 10 years ago, said Jay Mack, president and CEO of the bank. The new loan production office will allow the bank to grow its book of business amongst the downtown dealmakers.

“There is still a lot of business being done out of the downtown market,” Mack said. “And if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind (in that market). If you’re not there, you don’t get as many looks at deals as you would have if you had people in the ground.”

When the new loan production office opens this summer, it will be led by Kevin Leissring, who has more than 20 years of commercial lending experience in Milwaukee. Leissring worked previously for First Chicago, then Bank One, Chase Bank and most recently Bank of America.

“He has a lot of commercial business and contacts with centers of influence such as attorneys, accountants and brokers, people that do business in Milwaukee,” Mack said of Leissring. “We’ve always thought if we could find the right person to lead a Milwaukee office, it would make good sense to (open one).”

Town Bank and its corporate parent, Illinois-based Wintrust Financial Corp., have averaged 15 to 20 percent growth over the last 10 years, Mack said. While that growth slowed last year due to the sluggish economy, Town Bank currently has about $700 million in assets under management. It has also grown its wealth management offerings such as Treasury management in recent years, positioning it to compete with much larger financial players.

“In Kevin, we’ve got a guy that is capable, and we now have products that make us competitive with larger banks,” Mack said. “The motivation and idea (to open the Milwaukee branch) came together because of those – we have the right guy and resources to offer to the middle market commercial clients.”

Although the downtown Milwaukee loan production office, a precursor to a full-service branch, will not open until this summer, Leissring is already calling upon potential clients and partners.

“He’s spending his time out marketing the bank, calling on prospects and centers of influence,” Mack said.

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