MarkleBank, Grabill Bank merge to become iAB

Grabill Bank and MarkleBank will consolidate and become iAB Financial Bank as of Oct. 9, bank officers announced on Monday, Sept. 10.

The merger was approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of Financial Institutions in August.

The two bank holding companies merged in 2005, leaving the banks separately chartered, and became Independent Alliance Banks, Inc. (IAB). Grabill Bank and MarkleBank have consolidated administrative and operations functions but have maintained separate identities.

Integration has been the plan for several years in order to make the organization more efficient and control costs, bank officials said.

With the consolidation, customer transactions can be serviced in a network of 17 branch offices, a mortgage center with two regional offices and a wealth management division. The combined organization will be nearly $1 billion in assets with 250 employees.

The new bank will be governed by the existing IAB Board of Directors.

Management for iAB Financial Bank will include Michael C. Marhenke, president and chief executive officer; Kevin J. Himmelhaver, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Gregory A. Smitley, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Paul J. Grandlienard, executive vice president and chief credit officer; Karen J. Cameron, executive vice president/- corporate services; and Michael A. Rice, executive vice president/operations.

"Both banks have been successful in providing quality services to customers as well as being leaders in the communities we serve," Marhenke says. "The company is strategically focused on growth, and this consolidation into a single bank will allow us to expand our service network, provide larger loans to our borrowers, allow for more career opportunities for our employees and have a larger base from which to support our local communities."

iAB Financial Bank will be the sole banking subsidiary of Independent Alliance Banks Inc. The combined bank will serve 30,000 customers in Fort Wayne, Bluffton, Grabill, Harlan, Huntington, Leo, Markle, New Haven, Ossian, Roanoke, Van Buren and Warren.