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First Merchants Bank acquires Hoosier Trust Company, adding to its $4 billion wealth management business

First Merchants Bank acquires Hoosier Trust Company, adding to its $4 billion wealth management business

First Merchants Bank's profits plunge 19.7% during coronavirus pandemic

First Merchants Bank branch in Munster.

Muncie-based First Merchants Bank plans to acquire Indianapolis-based Hoosier Trust Company and its $300 million in assets.

“Hoosier Trust Company has demonstrated tremendous success since its founding, and like First Merchants, the company commits to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in client relationships,” First Merchants President and CEO Michael Rechin said. “This strategic acquisition will further strengthen First Merchants’ private wealth practice and continue our efforts to serve as a financial resource for all potential clients in the communities we serve.”

Hoosier Trust Company has offered trust and investment management services in Central Indiana since 2001.

“The integration of an estate plan and trusted fiduciary administration is one of the most overlooked areas of personal financial management, but one of the most important,” said Michael Joyce, president of First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors. “At First Merchants, we partner with individuals, families and organizations to provide comprehensive solutions and personal service in pursuit of a secure financial future. Hoosier Trust Company is aligned with that mission, and we look forward to offering their current clients the opportunity to utilize First Merchants’ full array of counsel and capabilities.”

The company will be folded into First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors, which consists of more than 100 financial professionals who manage assets of more than $4 billion.

“This is a natural fit for our company and provides our clients with significantly more opportunities to invest and succeed financially,” Hoosier Trust Company President and CEO Connie S. Allman said. “First Merchants has an established private wealth practice while also offering a full suite of commercial and personal banking services. We very much look forward to completing this acquisition and joining the First Merchants team.”

The successor to Citizens Financial Bank in Munster after an acquisition in 2013, First Merchants has about 18 branches in Northwest Indiana and the greater Chicago area. The bank has assets of $13.7 billion and 125 branches in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

2020 The Times Best of the Region

2020 The Times Best of the Region

Welcome to The Times Media Company’s Best of the Region for 2020.

When voting began in early March, we couldn't have predicted the changes to business as usual that we have experienced.

Still, thanks to the pluck of local entrepreneurs and dedication of our readers, we are presenting our annual look at the best restaurants, services, places to live and more in the Region.

This year we added an ambitious 40 categories for a total of 176, and we are proud to profile these businesses and providers that you chose in the monthlong voting.

This contest is the culmination of another year of interacting with our readers, telling stories about people and places that make a difference in our communities and championing the local businesses that serve as the backbone of the Region. It's also a testament to the resilience of the Region.

This is a process you, our readers, take seriously, casting 320,282 total votes, up 28% from 2019. That includes an 11% increase in write-in votes.

All this from 36,068 registered users, an increase of 84% from 2019. That speaks to more than the fact that we have been spending a lot more time at home. It expresses the understanding that the Region is poised to rebound from the limitations imposed by the coronavirus.

What accounts for the staying power of Best of the Region? Perhaps it's how we recognize the value of hard work and the chance to applaud businesses that respect our time and resources and consistently exceed our expectations. A Best of the Region nod is not only a well-deserved “thank you” to those who truly care for their customers, but it also reinforces those efforts.

These pages contain a number of first-time winners including Anytime Fitness, Jay Marie Salon & Spa and the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce in addition to stalwarts such as Albert's Diamond Jewelers, Centier Bank and Strack & Van Til that annually dominate their categories. But whether the business is big or small, time-honored or cutting-edge, all have excellence in common.

So on behalf of the Times, I’d like thank the readers who took the time to thoughtfully complete the ballot and offer our congratulations to the winners. Here’s to another year of “the best” in the Region!

Chris White



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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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