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Banking & Financial Institutions

Family-Owned & Closely-Held Banks

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Family-owned and closely-held community banks present unique issues that deserve special care and attention.

In particular, family dynamics and succession, wealth, estate and tax planning must be addressed within a complex bank regulatory framework, which requires specialized legal advice and strategies on a discrete and interdisciplinary basis.

Many family-owned and closely-held banks miss opportunities to develop a global strategy to optimally align the strategic direction of the bank with the ultimate goals of shareholders. This can occur either because bank strategy and shareholders’ personal planning are never properly addressed or because advice from outside advisors and consultants regarding these issues is compartmentalized. These missed opportunities—which are avoidable—have the potential to negatively impact current and future generations unnecessarily.

Our Family-Owned & Closely-Held Bank Practice Group, a subgroup of our Banking & Financial Institutions Practice Group, specializes in advising families and closely-held ownership groups and the banks they control. We use a collaborative approach to address a wide range of issues faced by family-owned and closely-held banks in an organized and comprehensive manner that is unique among law firms.

Areas where we regularly assist our family-owned and closely-held bank clients include:

  • Strategic Planning. Facilitating strategic planning discussions for boards of directors, executive management teams and family or closely-held shareholder groups. 
  • Ownership Structure. Structuring ownership to maximize shareholder returns and facilitate intergenerational transfers.
  • Shareholder Liquidity. Developing shareholder liquidity and cash flow strategies.
  • Estate & Tax Planning. Preparing estate plans and tax efficiency strategies.
  • Charitable Giving. Establishing foundations and charitable giving guidelines.
  • Regulatory. Advising on federal and state banking laws and regulations, including change in control filings and insider activities.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions. Advising on and executing mergers and acquisitions.
  • Executive Compensation. Consulting on management compensation and benefits.
  • Governance. Advising on corporate and family governance best practices.
  • Dispute Resolution. Assisting with the resolution of disputes and, more importantly, proactively planning to avoid disputes.
  • Resources. Connecting clients with accountants, valuation experts, insurance advisors, money managers and other resources with specific expertise in banking.
Jeffrey Billings

Billings, Jeffrey S.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9615414.287.9615
Shannon (Brusda) Braun

Braun, Shannon (Brusda)

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9568414.287.9568
Thomas Homberg

Homberg, Thomas R.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9429414.287.9429
Lecia Johnson

Johnson, Lecia D.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9319414.287.9319
Joan Klimpel

Klimpel, Joan D.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9267414.287.9267
Patrick Murphy

Murphy, Patrick S.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9222414.287.9222
David Patzer

Patzer, David H.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9652414.287.9652
Andrew Spillane

Spillane, Andrew F.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9351414.287.9351
Peter Wilder

Wilder, Peter

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9609414.287.9609

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