Taylor Capital Group (TAYC) in Rosemont, Ill., is expanding its mortgage unit by hiring more than 60 retail mortgage professionals from Amera Mortgage in Milford, Mich.

The $4.7 billion-asset parent of Cole Taylor Bank said in a news release Wednesday that the hiring spree will increase the staff in its mortgage unit by roughly 20% and double its number of lending offices. It was not clear if Cole Taylor, which has 20 mortgage offices in eight states, was planning to open new offices to accommodate the new hires or would be taking over existing Amera offices. Amera officials would not comment and a call to Taylor Capital was not immediately returned.

The new hires are located in Michigan and Indiana, where Cole Taylor already has offices, as well as Ohio, where it does not.  Mark Janssen, Amera's chief executive, will join Cole Taylor, Willie Newman, president of Cole Taylor Mortgage, said in a news release.

Cole Taylor launched its national mortgage lending division in 2009 and hired two dozen veterans from the former ABN Amro Mortgage Group to run it. 

The company earned $7.7 million in the first quarter, compared with a $2 million loss a year earlier, largely due to an increase in its mortgage lending. The mortgage unit generated $17.5 million in mortgage banking revenues in the quarter, up from $1.5 million in the same period year earlier.

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