In a short time, Peter Wilder has worked on bank mergers ranging from as small as $3 million to as large as $4.1 billion.
But it’s not just the dollar amount that makes those different.
“It’s the size and complexity of the transactions,” said Wilder, who has been an associate on Godfrey & Kahn SC’s Banking and Financial Institutions team since 2008.
The biggest and most complex transaction was a $4.1 billion merger in 2010 when BMO Harris bought Marshall & Ilsley Corp. Helping represent M&I could have been intimidating for Wilder given the sheer volume of documents and number of people involved in that huge, technical process. Instead, he felt another emotion working with the guidance and support of the eight other attorneys from his firm.
“I was amazed,” Wilder said. “I’m fortunate that we have more senior attorneys here who do a great job mentoring, getting us involved, and explaining things. That takes a lot of the intimidation factor out of it.”
In addition to focusing on bank mergers and acquisitions, and branch sales, Wilder also works on regulatory and compliance matters, immersing himself in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed two years ago.
There were about 200 rules that came out after the law took effect, he said, each one from 100 to 200 pages long. It can be difficult for banks, particularly smaller ones, to stay on top of all those changes, which is where he comes into play.