Wintrust Expands Lease and Equipment Finance Operation With Wintrust Commercial Finance

ROSEMONT, Ill., April 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wintrust Financial Corporation ("Wintrust") (Nasdaq:WTFC) has expanded its lease and equipment finance operation capability with the addition of Wintrust Commercial Finance, an equipment-focused financing group located in Texas. The group will provide highly sophisticated loan and lease products to commercial companies in a variety of industries throughout the United States and Canada.

"We've had great success with our current leasing operations," said Wintrust President and CEO Edward J. Wehmer. "We feel there is room to expand, and broaden our national offering. The new team offers extensive knowledge and experience and we know the new addition will make our leasing offerings even more robust."

The Wintrust Commercial Finance group will have a customer-focused origination philosophy while minimizing risk through strong underwriting discipline and expert asset management and will specialize in financing fixed assets consisting of property, plant and equipment, including transportation (trucks, trailers, rail, marine, buses), construction, manufacturing equipment, technology, oil and gas, restaurant equipment, medical and healthcare.

Wintrust Commercial Finance is led by an executive management team with, on average, 25 years experience. Kirk S. Phillips, who heads up the team as president and chief executive officer, has had proven success developing, growing and managing commercial equipment finance and leasing organizations with sustainable profitability and solid portfolio performance, including senior roles at AIG Commercial Equipment Finance and Transamerica Equipment Finance Services Corporation.

Paul Hallauer and Jeff Darlington, CPA, also joined the team as executive vice president and chief credit officer and executive vice president and chief financial officer, respectively. Hallauer has also had extensive experience in the field with management roles at AIG Investments and AIG Commercial Equipment Finance and General Electric Capital Corporation. Darlington brings significant experience, as a chief financial officer and controller in the financial services industry, to the team. His past roles at AIG, and with finance groups at CIT, have given him valuable knowledge and understanding of the business life cycle and key drivers in the market.

Wintrust Commercial Finance compliments Wintrust's other leasing groups: Wintrust Equipment Finance and Wintrust Capital, based in the Chicago metropolitan area.

About Wintrust

Wintrust is a financial holding company with assets of approximately $20 billion whose common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Built on the "HAVE IT ALL" model, Wintrust offers sophisticated technology and resources of a large bank while focusing on providing service-based community banking to each and every customer. Wintrust operates fifteen community bank subsidiaries, with over 140 banking locations located in the greater Chicago and southern Wisconsin market areas. Additionally, the Company operates various non-bank business units including one of the largest commercial insurance premium finance companies operating in the United States and Canada, a company providing short-term accounts receivable financing and value-added out-sourced administrative services to the temporary staffing services industry, a business unit engaging primarily in the origination and purchase of residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market throughout the United States, and companies providing wealth management services.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Investors are cautioned that such statements are predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. Wintrust's expected financial results or other plans are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" and the forward-looking statement disclosure contained in Wintrust's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made and Wintrust undertakes no duty to update the information.

CONTACT: FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward J. Wehmer President & Chief Executive Officer David A. Dykstra Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer (847) 939-9000 Website address: www.wintrust.comSource:Wintrust Financial Corporation