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Wilder making big deals in a short time

By: TONY ANDERSON//September 19, 2012//

Wilder making big deals in a short time

By: TONY ANDERSON//September 19, 2012//

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Wisconsin Law Journal photo/Kevin Harnack

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.

What is the single best part about being an attorney?

Being an expert in my field and being able to solve problems for my clients as a result of that

What was your worst law school course?

My worst law school course was arbitration.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what do you think you would have chosen as a career path?

Probably insurance – that’s what my dad does and it seems like a good lifestyle

What is your most treasured possession?

My fishing gear

Who are your favorite writers?

I don’t have time to read for pleasure, so I would say the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule writers

How would your mother describe you in one word?


What word in the English language do you wish you had invented?


What do you miss most about your childhood?

Being around my immediate family everyday

If you could be any superhero, who would you choose?

Superman, just because he can fly

Finish this sentence: Happiness is …

Happiness is the day I married my wife, and the day my son was born

What are you craving right now?

Ian’s Pizza


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