A Tennessee company this week announced it would acquire a Dubuque retirement solutions provider.
Officials said the move ensures that 57 local employees will retain their jobs, and staff additions are anticipated.
First Mercantile Trust Co., a subsidiary of EdgeCo Holdings, Inc., entered into an agreement to acquire American Trust Retirement, a division of American Trust & Savings Bank. The deal is expected to close in early April. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Kurt Wedewer, who formerly served as senior executive vice president at American Trust & Savings Bank, will serve as regional president of EdgeCo’s retirement services business.
He said all employees of American Trust Retirement, 895 Main St. in Dubuque, will keep their jobs.
“Our owners placed a heavy emphasis on finding a buyer who would retain the staff,” he said. “We went through this process and believe we found the ideal partner.”
Wedewer anticipates “significant additions to the staff” moving forward, although he said it was too early to predict how many hires would be made.
EdgeCo Holdings CEO John Moody echoed that sentiment.
“We are continuing to grow organically and inorganically, meaning there are other acquisitions in the pipeline,” he said. “Our plan is that we will be growing and, over time, employing more people in Dubuque.”
News of the acquisition caps a busy six months for ATBancorp, the parent company of American Trust & Savings Bank.
In August, a merger was announced between ATBancorp and MidWestOne Financial Group Inc., based in Iowa City.
American Trust Executive Vice President Peggy Hudson said Tuesday via email that officials now expect that transaction to close in the second quarter of this year.
Hudson also weighed in on the merger’s impact to local jobs.
“At this point in the merger process, only two positions have been eliminated to date,” Hudson wrote. “We’re experiencing voluntary attrition as people who eventually will be affected are finding new opportunities, and we’re hiring new staff members, too.”
From the outset, officials emphasized that the merger between ATBancorp and MidWestOne would not include American Trust Retirement.
This led to months of uncertainty for staff.
“It was very challenging for the employees, and to put it any other way would be inaccurate,” Wedewer said. “There were moments of uncertainty and fear along the way. I think those feelings have dissipated, and they are feeling excitement now.”
American Trust Retirement will continue to operate under the same name once the acquisition is complete.
Wedewer said the bank has secured a lease with MidWestOne and will remain within the building it now occupies for the foreseeable future.
He said customers would not notice any major changes due to the acquisition.
“They will be working with the same people that they have formed relationships with,” he said. “Everything down to account numbers and website information will remain the same.”