Harris Bank

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Harris Bank, the U.S. branch of Bank of Montreal, is owned by the Canadian BMO Financial Group.

Executive Summary

In 2011, BMO Financial Group/Bank of Montreal began its acquisition of M&I Bank, all stocks and its TARP debt for $4.1 billion.[4] M&I had $51.9 billion in assets at the time of acquisition. The Bank of Montreal operates out of Harris Bank in Chicago, IL and is looking to expand its Midwest business with M&I Bank's assets.

Harris Bank also bought Amcore Bank.[1]

Harris Bank (U.S.), Bank of Montreal/BMO Financial Group
Type Financial Services
Headquarters Canada
Number of locations Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Indiana
Revenue $200,755,200 in 2010


Golden Parachutes Paid to M&I Bank Executives

Federal law prohibits executive raises while TARP money is still owed to the government. The Bank of Montreal will pay the $1.7 billion owed and pay the executives contingent on the finalization of the acquisition.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in February 2011 that CEO and Chairman Mark F. Furlong, who is being retained by BMO as president and chief executive of Harris Bank, will $18 million upfront and also "receive a $6 million "transition completion payment" on the first anniversary of the merger if he still is with the company. Under a three-year contract with BMO, Furlong will receive a base salary of $600,000, be eligible for an incentive payment of up to $800,000 and be in line for stock awards. According to the document, M&I executives to receive "deferred compensation" after the merger is complete are: Gregory A. Smith, chief financial officer, $5.5 million; Thomas R. Ellis, senior vice president, $4.1 million; Kenneth C. Krei, chairman and CEO of M&I Trust Co., $5.5 million; and Thomas J. O'Neill, senior vice president, $5.1 million. Another $26.7 million will be distributed among 12 other executive officers."

In a response these publicly-dubbed "golden parachute" payouts, CtW Investment Group released a report in conjunction with a Bank of Montreal shareholders meeting in March 2011. The report, entitled “Why is Bank of Montreal Making ‘Golden Parachute’ Payments to Failed Executives at M&I Corporation?” was given to BMO directors.

The report address the following:

• The over $18 million award Mr. Furlong will receive substantially exceeds the $5.3 million M&I estimated Mr. Furlong was entitled to in 2009. • BMO has promised these benefits regardless of whether the recipients’ positions are terminated as a result of the merger. BMO has set up a special deferred compensation account to hold “severance” funds that executives will receive when they leave the company, even if such a departure is on the basis of an ordinary retirement twenty years in the future. • BMO has further agreed to pay any tax liabilities generated by these payments to Furlong or other top executives. Hundreds of companies that once offered such provisions have eliminated them as a wasteful and inappropriate use of shareholder assets. Even companies that still provide them generally offer them only to a few executives. All told, BMO will pay these taxes for up to 17 executives. • The severance packages include other unusual and arcane provisions, including making payments of three times taxable employer-provided car-related expenses and club dues. Many companies have eliminated perquisites such as club dues even for current executives.

“Canadian shareholders have good reason to be troubled by these payments,” says Rosanna Weaver, an analyst for the Office of Investment. “When Toronto-Dominion Bank purchased South Financial Group, employment agreements were amended to eliminate severance and other benefits. Why was the Bank of Montreal board unable or unwilling to make similar demands?”[2]

Financial Statements

2010[3]
Total Assets: $411,640,000
Securities Borrowed or Purchased Under Resale Agreements:$28,102,000
Loans: $176,643,000

2009[4]
$388,458,000
Securities Borrowed or Purchased Under Resale Agreements: $36,006,000
Loans: $167,829,000

  • In Canadian Dollars

Executives

Officers: Chairman: David A. Galloway President, CEO, and Director: William A. (Bill) Downe EVP and Chief Risk Officer: Thomas E. (Tom) Flynn


References

  1. Locks changed on disputed home,"The Milwaukee State Journal. April 26, 2011.
  2. CtW Investment Group Report Highlights Concerns RE: M&I Golden Parachutes at BMO Annual Meeting,"Tuesday, March 22, 2011."
  3. http://www.bmo.com/ar2010/fin_cfs_balance.html BMO Consolidated Financial Statements]
  4. http://www.bmo.com/ar2010/fin_cfs_balance.html BMO Consolidated Financial Statements]