Old National and First Midwest announce merger

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EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) – Old National and First Midwest Bank have announced that the two companies are merging and keeping the Old National Bank name. Michael Scudder, the Chairman and CEO of Midwest, will now become the Executive Chairman of the bank. Jim Ryan, the Chairman and CEO of Old National will maintain his role as CEO.

First Midwest shareholders are expected to make up 44 percent of the combined company. The $6.5 billion merger bank will create a bank with $45 billion in combined assets. This is creating the sixth largest bank in the Midwest.

“And if you think about banks, there’s like 5,000 banks in the country. We are going to be the top 30 banks in the country in terms of total asset size,” explained Jim Ryan, chairman and CEO of Old National Bank. “There’s no technical barrier we are crossing in terms of new regulatory requirements. As always, when we get bigger and we grow they raise the bar– the regulators raise the bar on you so we will continue to make investments in people and technology to make sure we meet every single obligation.”

Ryan said this partnership has been in the works for nearly five months. He and the CEO of First Midwest initially talked about their strategies, but were astonished by the similarities of their banks’ cultures. Ryan said this encouraged the banks to team up.

“While First Midwest is headquartered here in Chicago, it really serves smaller suburban communities that surround Chicago and we found a very similar approach. Deep roots, passion for serving the communities. Passion for serving the team members,” Ryan said soon Old National Bank clients will get have access to their ATMs in Chicago.

The bank will have dual headquarters in Chicago and Evansville and will serve communities in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Expanding Old National Bank’s footprint into Iowa is new territory for the Evansville based bank.

Ryan says the merger should be complete by next spring with inevitable staff reductions.

“When you have two sets of everything, you have to go through and make those hard decisions,” Ryan said there is no timeline on these reductions.

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