Wintrust is a U.S. financial holding company that operates 15 leased community banks in northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Wintrust is one of the largest banking institutions in the United States and is trading on nasdaq's global market for selection with the WTFC stock code. Winters is Chicago's second largest banking company. The company offers traditional retail and commercial banking services, as well as wealth management services, commercial finance and life insurance, and some treasury management services such as payroll data processing and billing. In 2015 Wintrust began to expand the financing of equipment, either directly through its banking branches or indirectly through merchants. Wintrust was founded by Ed Wehmer. Wintrust was among the beneficiaries of capital from the U.S. government through the troubled U.S. Treasury Department asset relief program. The Bank used the 2008 financial crisis to acquire distressed small banks in the Chicago area, backed by its pre-crisis capital supplemented by the Association's funds. This has led to it becoming one of the largest retail banks in the region by eliminating costs and deepening its geographical presence in the region. Wintrust Financial continues to expand within its footprint zone.