A win for Wintrust at Marquette University

Marquette University announced it has entered into a corporate partnership with Chicago-based Wintrust Financial Corp., to offer banking services to Marquette students and the broader community. Under the agreement, Wintrust’s Wisconsin-based subsidiary, Town Bank, will become Marquette’s exclusive commercial and retail banking partner.

U.S. Bank had been Marquette’s banking partner since 2000. Its contract is set to expire this year.

The Marquette-Wintrust deal includes a $12 million investment by Wintrust over 10 years to fund student scholarships, athletic and educational programming, and other campus-oriented events, according to the school. “In working closely with Wintrust and their Town Bank team, we discovered mission alignment and shared values related to providing access and affordability to those who need it most,” said Marquette University President Michael Lovell in a news release. “We are grateful for their significant investment in scholarship aid, which will have a profound impact on Marquette students as they become men and women for others and positive change agents in our communities.”

The University followed what it called a rigorous RFP process that allowed several banking organizations to vie for the deal. University leaders chose Wintrust, it said, for its commitment to providing Marquette with services beyond banking, lauding the organization for its community-oriented mission, including:

  • Wintrust’s Town Bank will become the official commercial and retail banking partner of Marquette Athletics

  • Wintrust and Town Bank will invest in the College of Business Administration’s burgeoning commercial banking program

  • Wintrust and Town Bank will set aside seed funding for a small business revolving loan fund and will engage with banking program students to administer low-cost small business loans to enterprises located in surrounding neighborhoods, including Milwaukee’s Near West Side.

“Partnering with Marquette University fits well with the mission and values of Town Bank and Wintrust,” said Jay Mack, president and CEO of Town Bank. “Just as the university seeks to extend its boundaries beyond the campus, we, too, want to extend our presence beyond our brick and mortar branches,”

“The Marquette University partnership with Wintrust and Town Bank couldn’t be a better fit,” said Wintrust President and CEO Edward J. Wehmer. “Marquette is committed to setting its students up for success and so are we. We’re proud to not only offer great banking services to Marquette students, but also provide tools to help give students in need a leg up, like scholarship funding for first-generation and Milwaukee and Chicagoland low income families.”

Wintrust Financial is the second largest bank group headquartered in Chicago. Town Bank has been expanding its presence and operations in downtown Milwaukee. The bank also has offices in Walworth, Dane, Waukesha and Racine counties.

University leaders expressed their appreciation to U.S. Bank for its service to the Marquette community, thanking it for “being excellent partners.”  The transition is expected to be complete this summer.