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Old National cutting 41 jobs

Local positions at former Tower eliminated in takeover

Schoettlin

Old National Bancorp will eliminate 41 Fort Wayne jobs – or 25 percent of the workforce – as it acquires Tower Financial Corp.

Tower locations are scheduled to convert to Old National branches the weekend of April 26, Old National spokeswoman Kathy Schoettlin said Tuesday.

Evansville’s Old National informed most of the affected workers in mid-December that their positions will be eliminated beginning May 16, according to the state filing dated last week.

After the job cuts, Old National’s local workforce will consist of 84 in the banking operation, which includes wealth and brokerage services, and 70 in insurance.

When both banks announced the deal Sept. 10, Old National officials acknowledged that some of Tower’s 165 jobs would be lost in the consolidation. No estimates were given, although Bob Jones, Old National’s president and CEO, said they would only be positions behind the scenes.

The positions include technical support and operations specialists, Schoettlin said Tuesday. She declined to release salary ranges but said 56 percent of the jobs are hourly and 44 percent salaried.

Old National offered jobs to Fort Wayne-based Tower’s management team, tellers and loan officers. Not everyone accepted, however.

At the end of last year, First Financial Bank lured away almost 10 percent of Tower’s workforce to form the nucleus of a local operation. The Cincinnati firm is new to the Fort Wayne market.

Afterward, Jones told analysts that Old National will review how it deals with prospective employees during takeovers. Lessons learned, the CEO said, included the need to “make sure you keep these revenue drivers and keep them happy.”

Jones said in January that the bank had received many résumés and would be able to replace the six commercial lenders, five mortgage lenders, two mortgage underwriters and two mortgage processors who defected to First Financial.

The 41 workers losing jobs have been offered job search assistance, including workshops on résumé writing and interviewing skills, Schoettlin said.

They are also regularly updated on any openings within Old National.

sslater@jg.net

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