Magazine article American Banker

Small-Business Push Scoring Points for Ill.'s First Midwest

Magazine article American Banker

Small-Business Push Scoring Points for Ill.'s First Midwest

Article excerpt

First Midwest Bancorp's foray into the suburban Chicago small-business market has piqued the interest of Goldman Sachs & Co.

The Itaska, Ill., banking company "has carved a niche as the local provider of community banking services to small and middle-market businesses," Goldman analyst Lori B. Appelbaum said, initiating coverage with a "market perform" rating.

Since 1996, First Midwest has completed a series of acquisitions, which have given it a small-business lending presence in suburban Chicago and boosted assets to $5.2 billion, from $3.1 billion.

"With these acquisitions materially integrated, First Midwest's management team is now concentrating on improving its focus on core business lines and enhancing the company's overall profitability," Ms. Appelbaum said.

The company's management stresses the importance of relationship banking through its programs for lending to local businesses, Ms. Appelbaum said.

For instance, loan officers are not only compensated on the basis of selling products, but also paid quarterly bonuses based on maintaining and retaining relationships.

First Midwest is also building its retail program and using incentives for this effort as well.

Each employee negotiates performance standards with his or her supervisor and is rewarded on a quarterly basis when objectives are met. The incentive bonus can equal up to 6% of an employee's base salary, Ms. Appelbaum said. "Incentives and performance standards are tailored to each job function and are aiding in driving results. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.