ROSEMONT, Ill., Jan. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wintrust Financial Corporation ("Wintrust") (Nasdaq:WTFC) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire First Lansing Bancorp, Inc. ("FLB"). FLB is the parent company of First National Bank of Illinois ("FNBI"). Established in 1945, FNBI is headquartered in Lansing, Illinois and operates seven banking locations in the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago, as well as one location in northwest Indiana.
FNBI has an established history of serving its communities dating back nearly seventy years. As of December 31, 2012, it had approximately $370 million in assets and approximately $325 million in deposits. FNBI's approach to customer service is similar to that at each of the fifteen Wintrust Community Banks and their more than 100 banking locations. In all aspects of the community banking business, including services, products, and staff, a high level of involvement between bank employees, customers and the communities served has always been a top priority of FNBI.
Edward J. Wehmer, President and CEO of Wintrust, said, "This transaction provides a terrific opportunity to expand our presence in the southern part of our market area and helps us continue on our path to become Chicago's Bank. First National Bank has established a great community bank franchise and we look forward to continuing to build that franchise and providing its local communities with an expanded array of products and services."Christopher M. Morrow, Chairman of FNBI, remarked, "For three generations, our family has proudly served Will and Cook County Illinois as well as Lake County Indiana. We felt that now is the right time to expand our commitment by partnering with Wintrust, a substantial regional bank who shares our passion and expands our capacity to serve our communities." Gilbert W. Rynberk, President of FNBI, added, "We are excited about combining resources with Wintrust. This is a great opportunity to partner with a successful organization that has the financial capabilities to support the growth of our franchise and is like-minded in its approach to offering highly personalized customer-oriented retail and commercial banking services." Mr. Rynberk emphasized that by joining forces with Wintrust, "the transaction allows us to continue focusing on serving our customers, while at the same time providing our customers with access to a wider range of products and services. We clearly see benefits for our customers, shareholders and employees and we look forward to joining the Wintrust family."