Another day, another acquisition for deal-happy Wintrust Financial Corp.
The Lake Forest, Ill., company announced late Tuesday that is expanding into Canada with a deal to acquire Macquarie Premium Finance Inc., the insurance-premium funding unit of global banking giant Macquarie Group of Australia. A sale price was not disclosed.
The deal, expected to close later this quarter or early next quarter, would be the third for the $16 billion-asset Wintrust already this year and 10th since the start of 2011. The mult-bank holding company bought a failed bank last week, it acquired a trust company in January, and last year it acquired one open bank, three failed banks, two mortgage banking operations and an asset manager.
The Macquarie acquisition would mark Wintrust’s first foray into Canada, a market that has become increasingly attractive to U.S. banks as they search for new revenue streams. TCF Financial Corp., for example, has recently established relationships with several power sports, marine and recreational vehicle manufacturers to be the exclusive finance provider for dealers on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border.
Wintrust already operates a successful insurance premium financing company in the U.S., First Insurance Funding Corp., and Wintrust President and CEO Edward Wehmer said in a news release that he is eager to build on that momentum in Canada.
“Canada is fertile ground for insurance-premium funding services and we have sought to enter the market for some time,” Wehmer said.
Macquarie Premium Finance originates roughly $600 million of premium finance receivables in Canada each year. It will be merged into the largest of Wintrust’s 15 separately chartered banks, the $2.5 billion-asset Lake Forest Bank & Trust Co.
Wintrust’s shares were up nearly 4% in early trading Monday, to $33.14.