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Bank of Ann Arbor expands to Oakland County with merger

The Bank of Ann Arbor is acquiring the Bank of Birmingham, a move that will serve as the growing local bank’s expansion into Oakland County.

Bank of Ann Arbor is paying approximately $33.3 million to Bank of Birmingham shareholders as part of the deal. The merged banks will continue under the Bank of Ann Arbor brand with $2.5 billion in assets at eight branches. employees. All of the 225 employees from both banks will be retained during the merger.

"We are working hand-in-hand together," says Tim Marshall, president and CEO of Bank of Ann Arbor.

Marshall expects the banks to spend the next 12-15 months working on assimilating the two workforces together. He adds that it helps that both banks have similar work cultures and that they use the same core processing system.

This represents the Bank of Ann Arbor's third acquisition in the last six years. Bank of Ann Arbor acquired the former New Liberty Bank in Plymouth in 2010 and UniFi Equipment Finance in Ann Arbor in 2013. The Bank of Birmingham, which only has a branch in Birmingham, will serve as Bank of Ann Arbor's introduction to the Oakland County market. Marshall doesn't expect Bank of Ann Arbor to make any other acquisitions in the near future.

"It's really too early to make that sort of decision," Marshall says. "We want to focus on closing this transaction flawlessly."

Bank of Ann Arbor has carved out a niche for itself as a local bank as demand for local banking surged after the financial crisis of 2008. Bank of Ann Arbor moved to fill that void by serving both people and businesses. It had grown its overall assets to $2.2 billion before the new merger with Bank of Birmingham, with 185 employees at seven branches in Washtenaw and western Wayne counties.

Marshall expects that sort of local-first philosophy to drive growth at the bank for the foreseeable future.

"We're just going to continue to emphasize that at every opportunity," Marshall says. "We have enjoyed a lot of success, and there is a lot more success on the horizon for us."
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