Associated Banc-Corp announced the formation of a newly established Healthcare Industry Banking Group under Associated’s Specialized Industries and Commercial Financial Services sector (SICFS).

Associated’s new Healthcare Industry Banking Group is an industry-focused business unit serving the banking needs of healthcare companies. The group provides financing, treasury, trust, asset and wealth management to the healthcare industry.

While the Healthcare Group has a national mandate, it will focus most of its business development activities within Associated’s geographic footprint.

“Associated is excited about being able to serve the banking needs of the healthcare industry and development of new healthcare client relationships,” said Peter Bulandr, Senior Vice President and Group Head within Specialized Industries. “At Associated, we offer extensive corporate banking capabilities to a wide range of large corporate and middle market clients. For clients in the healthcare industry, we offer focused niche expertise, with experienced bankers dedicated to serving this specialized group.”

The Healthcare Industry Banking Group completed its first transaction in August 2012 with a credit commitment to a privately-held pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Minnesota. In October 2012, the group secured its second transaction with a credit commitment to the largest publicly traded kidney dialysis provider in the United States, with its U.S. headquarters located in Massachusetts. Most recently, the group provided committed financing to a nonprofit hospital system located in the state of Ohio.

Guiding Associated into the healthcare sector is Karen Anillo as Senior Vice President and Team Leader of the Healthcare Industry Banking Group. Her primary responsibility is to establish underwriting guidelines and determine which sectors within the healthcare industry Associated will actively pursue.

“Associated has a meaningful portfolio of existing healthcare clients, and we’re ready to determine those corporate and middle market banking clients who best fit within the Healthcare Group’s strategy and financial objectives,” said Anillo. “The Healthcare Group is filling a need in the organization and will work diligently to define where the bank will focus its energies on a go-forward basis.”

“Karen’s deep network of contacts, keen understanding of the healthcare industry and personal approach to partnering with clients will distinguish Associated’s specialized capabilities for healthcare industry clients,” said Bulandr, who anticipates Anillo’s expertise will help position Associated as a leader in healthcare banking.

The Healthcare Banking Group consists of Vice President and Relationship Manager Bryan Vis and Vice President and Portfolio Manager James Goody.

Bryan Vis has more than seven years of banking experience and is responsible for expanding Associated’s healthcare client base on a nationwide basis.

The most recent addition to the group is James Goody. Goody has more than eight years of banking experience with a focus on the U.S. healthcare industry. He is responsible for the overall evaluation of new opportunities within the healthcare industry, while managing an existing healthcare portfolio.

Karen Anillo, Bryan Vis and James Goody.