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BMO Financial Group Completes Purchases of Wisconsin Banks


BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE: BMO) and its U.S. subsidiary, Harris, today announced the completion of the acquisitions of Ozaukee Bank and Merchants and Manufacturers Bancorporation, Inc., both based in Wisconsin. The transactions were announced in 2007.

Ozaukee Bank is a community bank with six full-service and two limited-service locations in the northern part of the greater Milwaukee area and is the deposit share leader in its market. Merchants and Manufacturers operates 35 full-service and 11 limited-service locations in an area concentrated in Milwaukee, and extending into Green Bay to the north and LaCrosse to the west.

“Over the past several months since announcing these transactions, we’ve had the opportunity to really get to know the teams at MMBC and Ozaukee Bank and it’s clear that we have a great opportunity to leverage strengths from all three organizations to deliver an exceptional level of banking in the Wisconsin market,” said Ellen Costello, Chief Executive Officer, Harris Bankcorp, Inc. “Collectively, we are determined to continue delivering the exceptional service and outstanding community commitment that Wisconsin has come to expect from these two banks and for which Harris has been known for over 125 years.”

Effective immediately, Harris will begin to transition the banks to its management operating model and has divided the market into three regions. As previously announced, Tom Bolger is named President, Harris Wisconsin. He will direct Harris’ integration and expansion activities in the market and will lead the Metro Region, covering Milwaukee and areas to the south. The Metro Region will largely consist of the former Lincoln State Bank branches. Additionally:

* Jim Rothenbach, formerly President and Chief Executive Officer at Ozaukee Bank, will serve as Harris Regional President for the Wisconsin North Region, including the area just north of Milwaukee and north to Sheboygan Falls. It will include the Ozaukee Bank branches, as well as the former Grafton State Bank and Wisconsin State Bank branches.
* Mel Hahs, a Community Bank President at MMBC, is named Regional President for the State Region, covering the far west and far north branches, including the former Reedsburg Bank, Fortress Bank and Community Bank Financial branches.
* Mike Murry, former MMBC chairman, and Mal Hepburn, former Ozaukee Bank chairman, will continue to chair our Community Boards and will provide ongoing counsel and business development support as we bring these banks together.

With the closing of this acquisition, Harris now has more than 270 full-service locations in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin and nearly 650 Harris-branded ABMs and is closer to its goal of 350 to 400 locations across the Midwest.

Harris N.A. is the third-largest bank, based on branches, in the Chicago market, with US$41.5 billion in assets and US$29.5 billion in deposits. Additionally, Harris has affiliated wealth management offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington.


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