Southeastern Wisconsin financial service industry news
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Summit Credit Union to open new Waukesha branch
March 3, 2015 10:48 AM
Madison-based Summit Credit Union plans to open a new branch at 1103 Spring City Lane in Waukesha on March 23.

The credit union, which merged with West Allis-based Greater Milwaukee Credit Union in March 2014, is building the 3,400-square-foot branch to replace its current Waukesha location, at 2140 W. St. Paul Ave. That branch will close on March 21.

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BOGS brand growth drives Weyco Group higher
March 3, 2015 10:51 AM
Milwaukee-based footwear designer and marketer Weyco Group Inc. has announced fourth quarter and full year results.

The company, which sells its products globally under brands including Florsheim and Nunn Bush, recorded fourth quarter net income of $8.5 million, or 75 cents per share, up from $7.3 million, or 62 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Operating income was $13.4 million, up from $10.8 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $95.3 million, up 21 percent from $78.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The fourth quarter earnings increase to $611,000 of expense from an increase in estimated liability for future payments related to the 2011 acquisition of The Combs Co. Without the adjustment, operating earnings would have been up 30 percent in the fourth quarter.

Net sales of the BOGS brand were up 69 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by increased sales of women’s and children’s boots in the U.S. and Canada, Weyco said.

For the full year, Weyco Group reported net income of $19.8 million, or $1.75 per share, up from $18.2 million, or $1.62 per share, in 2013.

The company’s 2014 operating income was $30.7 million, up from $27.8 million a year ago.

Full-year revenue was $320.5 million, up from $300.3 million in 2013.

"We are excited about the growth of our BOGS brand this year, which was fueled by the growing popularity of the brand in both the U.S. and Canada," said Thomas Florsheim, Jr., the company's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are also encouraged by the positive momentum our legacy brands enjoyed during the second half of the year. As we embark on 2015, we feel our brands are well-positioned in their respective markets for future growth."

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ManpowerGroup leader joins Baird Capital
March 3, 2015 10:53 AM
Owen Sullivan has joined Baird Capital, the direct private investment arm of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., as an operating partner.

Sullivan has more than 30 years of experience in the business solutions sector, most recently as president of specialty brands for Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup. In that role, he served as chief executive officer of Right Management, Jefferson Wells and Experis.
Sullivan also led ManpowerGroup’s global sales organization.

Before joining ManpowerGroup, Sullivan served as president of Metavante’s Financial Services Group. He also has worked as a management consultant, forming strategic plans and targeting acquisitions for several venture capitalists and private equity groups.

“We are very pleased to have Owen join the Baird Capital team,” said Gordon Pan, managing partner of Baird Capital. “His deep expertise in the industry and his consistent record of driving profitable growth in highly competitive markets makes him a perfect fit with our operating model. Adding a veteran talent like Owen is another step in strengthening our competitive position.”

Sullivan holds a bachelor’s from Marquette University and serves on its board of trustees. He also sits on the boards of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Johnson Financial Group, Journal Communications and Ministry HealthCare.

“Baird Capital has in-depth industry expertise, a global relationship network and a unique perspective on the marketplace,” Sullivan said. “I am looking forward to working with this talented team to help build value in the portfolio.”

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Bank associations complete merger
March 3, 2015 10:56 AM
The Wisconsin Bankers Association and the Community Bankers of Wisconsin have completed their previously announced merger.

The combined organization, the Wisconsin Bankers Association, now serves 98 percent of banks headquartered in the state, which totals 270 commercial banks and savings institutions and 23,000 employees.

"Banks have a tremendous impact on Wisconsin's economy, businesses and consumers. That's why it is critical we have a unified voice addressing the common challenges all banks face," said Robert Cera, WBA chairman. "With a combined organization, we can focus on supporting the banking industry, which in turn supports the communities in the state."

Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the WBA, has retained her role. Daryll Lund, president and CEO of the CBW, has 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, has transitioned to executive vice president and COO. The WBA’s vice presidents will also continue in their leadership roles.

"This is truly an historic moment for Wisconsin's banking industry," Poels said. "The strength of the leadership of the new WBA positions us well to move forward as a single, unified association working on behalf of our banker members."

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Wisconsin banks had less profitable year
March 3, 2015 11:11 AM
Wisconsin's banks reported combined net income of $937 million in 2014, down from $1 billion in 2013, according to the new Quarterly Banking Profile released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

There were 250 FDIC-insured institutions reporting in the fourth quarter, compared with 260 institutions in the same period last year. There are 22,318 people employed by Wisconsin’s banks.

The state’s banks had total assets of $102.6 billion at the end of 2014, up from $99.2 billion at the close of 2013. Deposits totaled $81.5 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $79.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Quarterly lending was up, with $70.7 billion in total loans and leases, compared with $67.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The net loans and leases to assets ratio in the fourth quarter was 67.7 percent, up from 66.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Green Bay-based Associated Bank N.A. led Wisconsin banks in 2014, with $201.2 million in net income. It remains Wisconsin’s largest bank, with $26.7 billion in total assets.

Madison-based John Deere Financial f.s.b. ranked second, with net income of $88.9 million. John Deere has total assets of $1.8 billion.

Racine-based Johnson Bank came in third, with $26.7 million in net income in 2014. It has total assets of $3.9 billion.

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management ranked fourth, with $24.2 million in net income and total assets of $198.6 million, and Fond Du Lac-based National Exchange Bank and Trust rounded out the top five, with net income of $20.9 million on the year and total assets of $1.4 billion.

"Wisconsin's diverse banking industry enhanced its support of the state's businesses and consumers as lending grew to over $70 billion in the past year, according to numbers from the latest FDIC quarterly report. Consumers continue to trust Wisconsin banks to safeguard their funds as deposits also expanded to over $81 billion in the same timeframe,” said Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

“Wisconsin's banks have proven to be uniquely positioned and able to help businesses grow (commercial lending increased to $12.6 billion over the year) and families prosper (noncurrent loans and leases dropped for the 21st consecutive quarter).

“As a driver of economic growth, Wisconsin's banks stand ready to help keep Wisconsin moving forward despite a challenging interest rate environment, increased regulatory burden and operational costs all of which affect profitability."

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Walker names Allen DFI secretary
March 3, 2015 11:06 AM
Gov. Scott Walker has appointed Ray Allen secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions, which regulates state-chartered banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks, credit unions and some operations of the securities industry.

Allen replaces Peter Bildsten, who had served as secretary of the department since January 2011. The governor appoints the secretary, a cabinet-level position, with the advice and consent of the state Senate. The secretary is responsible for overseeing the DFI’s operations and representing its interests at the state and national levels.

Allen has worked at the Department of Financial Institutions for 18 years, most recently as deputy secretary. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previously worked as a marketing representative at John Deere Co. Allen has also served as an appointee in the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, executive assistant to the secretary of the Department of Employment Relations, director of the State Office of Employee Development and Training and as executive director of the Technology for Education board.

Walker also appointed Matt Moroney to senior advisor in the Office of Governor Walker, where he will oversee the implementation of the governor’s plan to reform state government by merging agencies and increasing efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.

Moroney most recently served as deputy secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. He holds a political science and economics degree from Loras College and a law degree from the University of Iowa. Moroney has worked as an attorney and was previously the executive director of the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee.

“We’d like to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to Peter Bildsten for four years of great service to the state of Wisconsin, leading the Department of Financial Institutions, and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Walker said.  “I would also like to congratulate Ray and Matt.  Both are proven leaders, dedicated to reforming state government to operate effectively, making the best use of state tax dollars.  I welcome both of them to their new roles, and look forward to continued innovation as we build a better Wisconsin, together.”

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American Appraisal lays off 32 at downtown Milwaukee office
March 3, 2015 11:02 AM
American Appraisal Associates Inc. notified state officials that it is laying off 32 employees in its downtown Milwaukee office at 411 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee-based American Appraisal was acquired recently by New York-based Duff & Phelps Corp., a global valuation and corporate finance advisor. American Appraisal is a full-service valuation firm that also provides transaction consulting, real estate advisory and fixed asset management. The two firms have been working on integration plans.

The layoffs in Milwaukee are expected to be permanent, but the firm plans to keep an office here, according to information submitted to the state.

“As part of our acquisition by Duff & Phelps, we have been assessing integration plans to ensure the merger delivers on its promise of a focused global valuation leader,” said American Appraisal spokeswoman Laura Brophy. “These dynamics frequently result in challenging decisions concerning employees, and our situation is no different. We are committed to ensuring impacted professionals, of which there are approximately 30 in Milwaukee, are treated fairly and equitably throughout the process. The firm’s long commitment to Milwaukee and the Midwest remains, and our office here will remain open for our client service staff.”

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Baird names Maxwell CFO
March 3, 2015 11:09 AM
Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. has named Terry Maxwell its new chief financial officer, effective March 10.

Maxwell replaces Dominick “Nick” Zarcone, who has served as Baird’s CFO since 2011 and has now been named executive vice president and chief financial officer at Chicago-based LKQ Corp. Inc., a leading supplier of replacement parts for cars and trucks. Zarcone worked at Baird for more than 20 years, during which time he led a team that helped raise capital and provide strategic advice to LKQ, which now has $6.7 billion in revenue and 29,000 employees worldwide.

Maxwell worked at Baird from 1986 to 2006 and served as head of Investment Banking before leaving for an academic role. He rejoined the company in 2014 as director of Corporate Development and Strategic Investment. Maxwell will continue to assist with Baird’s strategic investments and acquisitions.

“Nick has been the consummate Baird associate and a strong partner to me, Terry, Steve Booth and the rest of our leadership team,” said Paul Purcell, Baird chairman and chief executive officer. “He’s done a phenomenal job for us and we are proud of the service he has provided to LKQ over the years. While he will be greatly missed at Baird, we are incredibly excited for Nick as well as our long-time important partner LKQ.”

“Nick Zarcone and the rest of the Baird team have been important partners for LKQ,” said Robert Wagman, CEO and president of LKQ. “Nick is well-known and highly regarded by our entire senior leadership team and we are very pleased to have him joining our organization.”  
“Paul and I have worked closely with Nick for more than 20 years. We’re sorry to have him leave Baird, but are also very happy for him and this next step in his career,” said Steve Booth, Baird president and chief operating officer. “Terry’s ability to move into this new role is a testament to our long-term focus on developing our internal talent, which creates a deep pool of talent that often enables us to successfully promote from within.”

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SC Johnson acquires Czech cleaning brands from Unilever
March 3, 2015 11:04 AM
Racine-based SC Johnson has acquired HomeBrands A.S. from Unilever CR, spol. s r.o., the Czech subsidiary of multinational consumer product manufacturer Unilever N.V.

SC Johnson is a leading manufacturer of household cleaning, home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care products with about 13,000 employees worldwide. Its brands include Glade, Kiwi, OFF!, Windex and Ziploc. It is a private, family-owned company that does not disclose details of its transactions.

The acquisition of HomeBrands will expand SC Johnson’s geographic reach in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltics with home cleaning, pest control and air care brands including Biolit insecticides, Diffusil repellents, Lynn household cleaners and Citresin air fresheners.

Unilever acquired the trademarks, intellectual property and a small number of employees of HomeBrands from Czech household care products manufacturer Bochemie Group in 2013. The products continued to be manufactured under contract by Bochemie at its Bohumin, Czech Republic facility.

"Adding HomeBrands to SC Johnson's existing portfolio will complement our leading brands like Raid, OFF!, and Glade," said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of SC Johnson. "These brands will enable us to expand our presence in the Czech Republic."

SC Johnson also announced last month that it has signed a binding offer to acquire United Kingdom-based Deb Group, which manufactures hygiene and skin care systems for the industrial, commercial, health care and food markets.

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: A primer on 529 college savings plan updates
March 3, 2015 11:13 AM
In 2014, Wisconsin's Legislature modified Wisconsin's 529 college savings plans EdVest and TOMORROW'S SCHOLAR.

Brooke Napiwocki, a wealth advisor at Bronfman E.L. Rothschild in Milwaukee, gives an overview of the changes that are effective for the 2014 tax year in a Milwaukee Biz Blog.

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Kornit files for IPO
March 3, 2015 11:15 AM
Israeli company Kornit Digital Ltd., which has its U.S. offices in Mequon, has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its ordinary shares.

Kornit develops digital printing solutions, including digital printing systems, ink and consumables and software, for the printed textile industry. According to its prospectus, demand is increasing for Kornit’s products because consumers increasingly seek to differentiate themselves by wearing customized and personalized garments with colorful, intricate images and designs.

The company has not yet set a price per share or the number of shares to be offered. The proposed maximum aggregate offering price is set at $115 million. Kornit has applied to list its ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “KRNT.”

Kornit’s Mequon offices, at 10541-10601 N. Commerce St., are about 12,000 square feet. It also maintains sales, support and marketing offices in Germany and Hong Kong.

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Molly Dill This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Molly Dill. This bulletin is published every Tuesday morning. Send financial services industry news and tips to or call her at (414) 336-7144.

Additional Resources

» Wisconsin Association of Accountants
» Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants
» Wisconsin Association for Financial Professionals

Financial Institutions

» Wisconsin Bankers Association
» The Wisconsin Credit Union League
» Community Bankers of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association

Financial Planning

» Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin
» National Association of Personal Financial Advisors


» Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Mergers & Acquisitions

» Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries
» Association for Corporate Growth - Wisconsin
» Turnaround Management Association - Chicago/Midwest

Other Resources

» Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
» Wisconsin Government Finance Officers Association

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