Wintrust Financial Corp. of Lake Forest, Ill., announced it has purchased an equipment leasing and financing firm for an undisclosed amount.

The firm, Medical and Municipal Funding Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., provides leases and financing for area hospitals, schools, local governments, and businesses. Under Wintrust's ownership, MMFI operates as a division of Wintrust's lead bank, Lake Forest Bank and Trust Co. MMFI's executives and staff have been retained.

Edward J. Wehmer, president of $1.2 billion-asset Wintrust, said the acquisition fits with his company's plan to diversify by adding new niche businesses. He said he expects MMFI's lease portfolio to grow to $60 million over the next five years. (Wintrust would not disclose the leasing company's current portfolio size.)

Wintrust, which serves primarily upper-income Chicago suburbs, also plans to open a trust subsidiary next month, to be called Wintrust Asset Management Co.

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