John Palmer

Founder, Principal & Managing Member

Mr. Palmer is a co-founder of PL Capital, LLC. Prior to co-founding PL Capital in 1996, Mr. Palmer was employed by KPMG LLP, an international public accounting firm, from 1983 to 1996. While at KPMG, Mr. Palmer specialized as an auditor and a strategic advisor to companies in the commercial banking, consumer finance, thrift, mortgage banking and discount brokerage industries, serving publicly and privately held clients ranging in size from $25 million to $25 billion. He has extensive experience in merger and acquisition transactions, public and private securities offerings, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and regulatory issues. He has advised numerous banking organizations regarding their strategic alternatives, including M&A, mergers of equals and opportunities to enhance or expand existing lines of business. In 1993, Mr. Palmer was promoted to the position of Director, KPMG Financial Services – Capital Strategies Group, a national corporate finance practice providing merger and acquisition advisory services to thrifts, banks, mortgage companies and other financial services companies. In this capacity, Mr. Palmer developed expertise in banking and financial industry mergers and acquisitions, thrift mutual to stock conversions, valuation, capital restructurings, strategic planning and asset purchases and divestitures. He has been involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions with transaction values of up to $600 million.

Mr. Palmer also instructed financial institutions classes for KPMG. He has been a guest speaker at numerous corporate governance and banking industry conferences, as well as quoted in many banking articles. Mr. Palmer has previously been designated as a “financial expert,” as that term is defined by the Sarbanes Oxley Act for members of audit committees of boards of directors of publicly-held companies.

Mr. Palmer is currently a member of the Board of Directors of:

  • BNCCORP, Inc., a publicly traded $1.0 billion asset bank holding company based in Bismarck, ND.   

Mr. Palmer was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of:

  • BankFinancial Corporation, a publicly-traded $1.6 billion in assets thrift holding company which is the parent holding company of BankFinancial, FSB, located in Olympia Fields, Illinois, which operates 19 branches throughout Chicago, Illinois.
  • HF Financial Corp. a publicly-traded $1.2 billion in assets thrift holding company which is the parent holding company of Home Federal Bank, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which operates 28 branches throughout South Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mr. Palmer served on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, the Personnel, Compensation and Benefits Committee, as well as the Risk Committee which he served as Chairman.
  • Security Financial Bancorp, Inc., a publicly-traded $200 million in assets thrift located in St. John, Indiana which was sold in 2003, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
  • Franklin Bancorp and its wholly owned subsidiary, Franklin Bank, NA, a $700 million in assets commercial bank located in Southfield, Michigan, where he served on the Audit, Compensation, and Loan Committees. Mr. Palmer also served as Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee.
  • CFS Bancorp, Inc. the parent holding company of Citizens Financial Bank, a $1.2 billion asset federal savings bank which operated 22 offices throughout adjoining markets in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Mr. Palmer was a member of CFS Bancorp’s audit committee.
  • Clever Ideas, Inc., a privately-held specialty finance company located in Chicago, Illinois from 1998 to 2006.

Mr. Palmer is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, where he served as President of the Board for four years. In his capacity as President, Mr. Palmer oversaw the purchase of the Biograph Theater in Chicago and its re-development into a state of the art live performance theater. Mr. Palmer also oversaw the Capital Campaign for the renovation of the theater, which raised $11 million.

Mr. Palmer obtained his Bachelor of Accounting Degree from Walsh College. He formerly practiced as a Certified Public Accountant in Michigan and Illinois and is currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida CPA Society.