Growth through Community Investment: A Conversation with Wintrust Founder and CEO Ed Wehmer


Presented by Tim Hanley, Bus Ad ’78, Acting Keyes Dean of the College of Business Administration
and Ed Wehmer, Founder and CEO, Wintrust

Founder and CEO Ed Wehmer built the Wintrust banking brand from a single shop, dreamt up over a card table with friends, to a 150-location operation. Through all its growth, Chicago’s Bank® has remained true to its mission of providing customer- and community-focused service. Join Tim Hanley, Marquette University Interim Keyes Dean of Business Administration, for an inside look at the entrepreneur’s success story exploring themes of leadership, economic trends in a pandemic and election year, the importance of diversity and inclusion and more.

More about this session

Tim Hanley, Bus Ad ’78, is the acting Keyes Dean of the College of Business Administration. Tim received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the College of Business Administration and that same year began his career at Arthur Andersen, serving as an audit partner for many of the largest manufacturers in Wisconsin.

Recently, Tim retired as a senior partner with Deloitte LLP. Tim is a seasoned global executive, with extensive experience consulting with manufacturers regarding digital transformation, organizational strategy development and execution, acquisitions and market development. Under his leadership, Deloitte’s Global Consumer and Industrial Products practice grew to be the largest at Deloitte, with over $14 billion in revenues.

Tim has also served at Marquette as a longtime member of the College of Business Administration Dean’s Advisory Council, as a member of the university’s President’s Advisory Council, and on the Campaign Executive Committee. In October of 2019, Tim became the college’s first ever executive-in-residence. Tim was recognized in 2012 as the College of Business Administration’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

Ed Wehmer, Wintrust’s President, CEO and Founder, is responsible for overseeing the execution of the day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives of the organization. He is the only member of the board who is also a manager of the company. As such, he provides views of company management and substantial insight into company operations, as well as historical context for the board’s discussions.

The idea for Wintrust began over a card table, a few cold beers, and the thought of being the alternative to the big banks. Seeing a real need for a return to true community banking and personalized service in the area, Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company, the original Wintrust Bank, opened in December 1991. More banks in the Chicago suburbs followed, each with the same mission and with bankers who believed in that mission.

After 20 years of exceptional growth, Wintrust saw an opportunity to serve the many diverse neighborhoods in the heart of Chicago, and Wintrust Bank was established. Ed serves on several boards in the area, including Northwestern Memorial Foundation and the Archdiocese of Chicago. He and his wife, Dorothy, are involved in many charitable organizations in the Chicagoland area.



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