Wintrust Financial Corp., Lake Forest, Ill, has adopted a poison pill designed to protect the $1.2 billion-asset company from a hostile acquirer. The company would issue rights to additional shares of stock if a hostile party accumulates 15% of its shares. All shareholders other than the hostile party would receive the rights, thus cutting the hostile party's stake in the company by half.

John S. Lillard, chairman of Wintrust, said the plan was not adopted in response to any known takeover attempt. It is designed, he said, so that would-be acquirers would negotiate directly with the board of directors.

Wintrust also announced that it took a charge in the second quarter for expenses related to the departure of Howard Adams, the company's former chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Adams, who was forced into retirement in May, cost the company $1 million in severance pay and legal expenses, the company announced.

Excluding that charge, Wintrust earned $1.6 million during the second quarter. That figure is up from $1.1 million for the same period last year.

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