Toronto-based Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) is set to utilize U.S. retail bank, Harris Bank, in their latest move to make a change in the banking industry. After the acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley Corp., BMO has decided to drop the name and create a new title.

BMO has started to make various structural changes after they announced the acquisition of Marshal & Ilsley back in December 2010. One of the most recent: all of the M&I (NYSE:MI) branches in Wisconsin will be known as BMO Harris Bank after the planned rename. Harris Bank, based in Chicago, is a member of the BMO financial group. The organization felt that changing the Wisconsin-known M&I bank’s name to BMO Harris would provoke a positive response among consumers.

After doing some industry analysis, BMO discovered that BMO Harris Bank tested well among various markets including; commercial and wealth customers, as well as suburban and urban locations. The name also did well in Milwaukee and Chicago.

The new name isn’t the only change being made by BMO Financial, they also appointed two executives, Ken Krei and Ann Benschoter, retained from M&I. Krei will be moving from his position as chairman and chief executive officer of M&I wealth management to the executive vice president of global private banking. Benschoter currently works with corporate banking, and will transfer to a position as executive vice president of BMO Harris Bank’s personal and commercial banking headquarters.

Those of you who currently bank with Marshall & Ilsley can expect to see changes in mid-Summer as the acquisition is said to be complete by July 2011.


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  • Anonymous

    Boycott BMO Harris! Keep up the Wisconsin boycott of M&I under
    the new management. BMO Harris – Wisconsin is CLOSED for your business. 

  • ML Roberts

    I want to know what impact the merger will have on those close to retirement? Will the retirement package change, especially in the area of retiring with insurance?  If applicable, would it be best to retire before the merger is complete?  i have a friend who was eligible to retired in Jan. 2011 but he has not yet retired, should he retire now from the old company before the merger or wait and retire as he plan in late November 2011?