M & I Under New Ownership

7/6/11 – Wisconsin’s largest home-grown bank is under new ownership as of Tuesday – but it might be awhile before customers notice. The B-M-O Financial Group of Canada has taken over the Milwaukee-based M-and-I Bank. And officials say the M-and-I name will stay around at most branches until the two companies merge their computers and other operations. After that, they’ll get the new name – B-M-O Harris Bank. Harris is based in Chicago, and B-M-O has owned it since 1984. The company’s Paul Deegan says it could be 18 months before the M-and-I name disappears for good. The four-point-one-billion-dollar deal was first announced last December. It’s still not known how the change will affect the company’s employment in Wisconsin. But C-E-O Bill Downe says B-M-O plans to expand the bank’s presence in the state, and not reduce it. M-and-I has 188 branch banks in Wisconsin, including one in Beaver Dam. Harris is around 50 branches. B-M-O has not said how many branches might close. But Deegan says there’s very little overlap between both companies – and they’re “quite complementary.” M-and-I has lost money for 10 straight quarters. B-M-O has eight times as many assets – and it plans to immediately pay back the one-point-seven billion dollars M-and-I owed the federal government in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.