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A Top 15 Wall Street Transcript CEO Interview with the President and CEO of First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (FMBI): How Does Michael L. Scudder Create a 40% Year-to-Date Return from this Bank?

67 WALL STREET, New York - December 13, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Top 15 CEO Interviews of 2013 Report. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with successful public company CEOs. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Top 15 CEO Interviews of 2013

Companies include: First Midwest Bancorp Inc. (FMBI)

In the following excerpt from the Top 15 CEO Interviews of 2013 Report, the President and CEO of First Midwest Bancorp discusses the outlook for his company for investors:

TWST: Please begin with a brief overview of First Midwest, including your history, products and services.

Mr. Scudder: First Midwest Bancorp was formed in 1983. We operate in Illinois, predominately in the suburban Chicago marketplace, though our overall business stretches into northwest Indiana, as well as eastern Iowa. We have a sizable business with over $8 billion in assets and hold a top 10 market share in the suburban Chicago market.

We offer the full complement of financial services to the communities within our markets and have done so for well over 30 years. We have a very strong culture of client service, focused on meeting the financial needs of our clients. This has helped us receive a number of service and business accolades for the level of customer satisfaction and service that we provide to our clients, as well as the engagement of our colleagues. For example, this is the third year in a row we have been recognized as one of the "Top Work Places in Chicago" by the Chicago Tribune. This combination and client service, colleague engagement and market tenure has built a well-respected, relationship-based banking franchise.

TWST: You announced Q4 earnings, showed a disposal of about $172 million in problem loans and a pretax earnings of $28 million. Would you share with us some of your other highlights and give us your opinion on how 2013 is shaping up? Do you believe that the worst is now over in that part of the country?

Mr. Scudder: Let's take those questions in sequence. Let me give you some highlights in terms of the performance that we had for the quarter. We posted earnings of $0.18 per share for the fourth quarter, that's up from $0.05 the like quarter a year ago, and improved from the credit-driven loss posted during the third quarter. Our third quarter saw the accelerated remediation of some $170 million of both nonperforming and performing but potential problem credits. Our decisions here were designed to greatly improve to our credit risk profile and stabilize a very strong core earnings stream. In the fourth quarter, we saw continued credit improvement. Overall nonperforming loans decreased, dropping 17% on a linked-quarter basis, as well as significantly lower credit costs.

Other highlights for the quarter included a number of positive strategic business trends, which were partially masked by the closeout of certain credit actions. Over 2012, we have worked hard to both grow and diversify the mix of our loan portfolio as well as our revenue streams. We have done that through investment in...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.