- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1982
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. (Agriculture), with highest distinction, 1978
Bar & Court Admissions
- State of Illinois
Dennis R. Wendte
Dennis is one of the partners in charge of the Firm’s Financial Institutions Group. He concentrates his practice on representing financial institutions on a wide range of corporate and regulatory matters and has over 25 years of experience in the area.
Dennis regularly advises clients on the mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions, the raising of additional capital through public and private offerings of equity and debt instruments, and other strategic activities and initiatives. He has a wide array of experience in structuring corporate and financial transactions. Dennis also provides counsel to boards of directors on issues of corporate governance and regulatory compliance and enforcement matters.
Earlier in his career, he represented federal bank regulatory agencies in the receivership of over 75 savings and loan associations. This has provided him with valuable practical experience in his current representation of troubled banks and also healthy organizations bidding for failed institutions. During the past 10 years, Dennis has also represented the organizers of over 100 de novo banks across the country, including those forming banks in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Indiana and New York.
Dennis is a frequent speaker at schools and seminars for bankers on issues of financial institutions law. He was an adjunct professor of banking law at Northwestern University School of Law.
- Bank Mergers and Acquisitions
SNL Securities rankings has listed our Firm as one of the top firms in the nation in number of announced bank and thrift merger and acquisition transactions during the past 10 years. For the last decade, our Firm ranked #1 in the Midwest. In total, we have represented buyers and sellers of financial institutions in more than 200 mergers and acquisitions.
- Debt and Equity Financings
Represented numerous financial institutions in private offerings of debt securities to enhance current capital positions. Successfully structured acquisitions of troubled banks through use of preferred and convertible instruments, including buyer price protections
- Formation of De Novo Banks
Counsel to over 100 state and national de novo banks and bank holding companies across the country. The breadth of our practice has yielded a unique ability among our lawyers to gain familiarity with the laws and bank regulatory agencies of multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States. Established first Illinois state bank organized as a limited liability company.
Professional Activities and Honors
- Selected, Banking and Finance Law, The Best Lawyers in America® (2017)
- Selected, Leading Lawyers Network (2011-2016)
- Northwestern University School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Banking Law (2001-2013)
- Selected, Illinois Super Lawyers (2005)
- Phi Delta Phi Honorary Society
- Order of the Coif
- Client Alert: Tailored Director Training Programs
- Client Alert: CSBS Releases New BSA/AML Compliance Tool
- Client Alert: Key Takeaways from ABA's 2017 Washington Banking Law Committee Meeting
- Client Alert: Banks Face Continued Threat of ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits
- Client Alert: Federal Banking Regulators Expand Banks Eligible for Extended 18-Month Examination Cycle
- Client Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Gives Broad Interpretation to Bank Fraud Statute
- Client Alert: Pay Ratio Disclosure Implementation
- Client Alert: Don't Forget the Behavioral Impact of Product Incentive Plans
- Client Alert: Important General Takeaways from the Recent Congressional Hearings on Bank Incentive Practices
- Client Alert: New DOL Fiduciary Rule Requires Every Bank's Attention
- Client Alert: Quick Legal Checkup for Your Trademarks
- Client Alert: Avoiding New Third-Party Lending Risks for Banks
- Client Alert: WARNING: Troubled Loans Ahead
- Client Alert: Department of Labor Updates Salary Level Test of Overtime Regulations
- Client Alert: Proposed Incentive Compensation Rules
- Client Alert: Don't Abandon Your Rights When You Abandon a Foreclosure
- Client Alert: Hot Topics for Vendor Management in 2016
- Client Alert: Federal Appeals Court To Banks: CAUTION
- Client Alert: Tailored Director Training Programs
- Client Alert: Governor Rauner Signs Quasi-Reorganization Legislation
- Client Alert: Preparing for the New Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules
- Client Alert: Respond With Caution to Community Group Questionnaires
- Client Alert: New Law Helps Recovering Banks Pay Dividends
- Client Alert: Don't Lose Your Bank's Domain to a Competitor
- Client Alert: Basel III in Bite-Sized Pieces
Events & Speaking Engagements
- 2017 Bank Director's Acquire or Be Acquired Conference
- 2015 Community Bankers Association of Illinois Annual Convention & Expo (Nashville, TN)
- 2013 Illinois CPA Society Financial Institutions Conference (Oakbrook, IL)
- 2013 WICPA Financial Institutions Conference (Appleton, WI)
- 2010 Legal Update for Community Bankers (Chicago, IL)
- Annual Conventions of Community Bankers Association of Illinois, since 1995
- Iowa Independent Bankers’ Association Annual Convention
- Illinois Bankers' Association School for Bank Compliance
- Panelist, Midwest Regional Bank Seminar, “Implementing Merger of Equals Transactions”
- McGladrey & Pullen National Training Institute
- De Novo Bank Seminar, Community Bankers Association of Illinois
- Fidelity Information Services Envision Forum, Charleston, S.C.
- CMC National Symposium, Las Vegas, Nevada
- First Busey Corporation to Acquire First Community Financial Partners, Inc.
- Midland States Bancorp, Inc. to Acquire Centrue Financial Corporation
- #1 M&A Legal Advisor for Banks in the Midwest
- Barack Ferrazzano Recognized by U.S. News Best Law Firms 2017
- Twelve Barack Ferrazzano Attorneys Named 2017 U.S. News - Best Lawyers®
- Financial Institutions Group Mid-Year Review / BFKN #1 Nationally in M&A
- First Community Financial Corporation to Merge with Wintrust Financial Corporation
- Ridgestone Financial Services, Inc. to Merge with Byline Bancorp, Inc.
- Midland States Bancorp, Inc. Closes $80.1M Initial Public Offering of Common Stock
- Midland States Bancorp, Inc. Plans Initial Public Offering
- First Community Financial Partners, Inc. and First Mazon Bancorp, Inc. Announce Signing of Definitive Agreement
- Midland States Bank Enters Definitive Agreement to Acquire $400 Million in Wealth Management Assets
- Minnesota Based Peoples State Bank of Plainview and Altura State Bank Announce Signing of Definitive Merger Agreement
- Peoples Bancorp Inc. to Merge with First Midwest Bancorp Inc.
- First State Community Bank to Acquire Central Bank
- Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Represents Midland States Bancorp in Year-End Deal
- Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Represents Anchor Bank in Twin Cities Deal
- First District Appellate Court Ruling in Favor of Southport Bank
- Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Enhances Upper Midwest Focus
- Eighteen BFKN attorneys named Top 5% in Illinois by Leading Lawyers
- Fifteen BFKN attorneys named 2010 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars