The Wisconsin Bankers Association and the Community Bankers of Wisconsin have announced the organizations plan to merge.
The merger was supported by the majority of the groups’ members. The combined organization will be known as the Wisconsin Bankers Association, and will be headquartered at the WBA’s existing Madison office space.
“This is truly an historic moment in Wisconsin’s banking industry,” said Robert Cera, chairman of the WBA. “A strong, united trade association is better able to assist its membership. That means member banks will be in an even stronger position to help businesses grow and families prosper in the Badger State.”
Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the WBA, will retain her role. Daryll Lund, president and CEO of the CBW, will become executive vice president and chief of staff for the combined organization and Mike Semmann, senior vice president and chief operations officer at the WBA, will transition to executive vice president and COO. The WBA’s vice presidents will also continue in leadership roles.
The merger is expected to close on Feb. 27.
The Madison-based Community Bankers of Wisconsin was founded in 1981 to provide advocacy, professional training and profit-enhancing services for community banks. It represents most of Wisconsin’s community banks, which include about 900 banking offices with about 9,500 employees. The WBA is Wisconsin’s largest financial industry trade organization, representing more than 250 commercial banks and savings institutions and their 23,000 employees.
“Banks play a critical role as an economic driver in Wisconsin. That’s why it is so important we have one united voice speaking on our behalf to address the common challenges all banks face,” said Jerry O’Connor, chairman of the CBW. “Combining our strengths, we will have a single organization focused on supporting the continued longevity of Wisconsin banks.”