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First Midwest Bank Expands National Lending Capabilities to Include ESOP Lending

July 23, 2019, 08:00 AM

First Midwest Bank announced it is expanding its specialty lending capabilities by hiring a team of bankers experienced in lending to ESOP-owned companies. First Midwest’s new ESOP Finance Group will have a national lending platform and provide expertise in ESOP-based ownership transition to its relationship bankers and customers.

First Midwest’s ESOP Finance Group is the latest addition to its Commercial Specialty Banking capabilities, which include asset-based lending, leveraged lending and capital markets, as well as healthcare, franchise, agriculture and equipment finance.

“With the aging of the baby boomer generation, a growing number of companies will transition to new ownership in the next 10 years, and ESOPs are increasing in visibility as an attractive option for many owners, including many First Midwest clients,” said Mike Jamieson, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking. “Providing guidance and financing for a sale to an ESOP requires highly specialized expertise, so it was important for us to establish a dedicated team of bankers who can provide the type of value-added service First Midwest is committed to delivering to existing and new customers.”

First Midwest’s ESOP Finance Group is led by Elizabeth A. Di Cola, who has more than 35 years of legal, corporate finance and commercial banking experience, including key leadership roles in the ESOP Finance groups at Fifth Third Bank and MB Financial. Edward J. Weisto and Ashley N. Kirchner round out the team as Senior Vice President and Vice President, respectively. Weisto has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, debt capital markets and ESOP lending, having worked at PNC, ABN AMRO-LaSalle Bank, Associated Bank, MB Financial and most recently at Fifth Third Bank. Kirchner joins First Midwest from Fifth Third Bank and MB Financial’s ESOP lending team, where she financed both ESOP and non-ESOP-owned companies for five years.

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