Bank of the West said John C. Thurston, the bank’s Commercial Banking Regional Manager in Chicago, will now also head the bank’s Private Equity Team.

In addition to his role of developing and managing relationships with middle-market companies in Chicago and the surrounding area, Thurston now also leads a team of bankers dedicated to building and expanding relationships with private equity firms and financing their middle-market portfolio companies across the United States.

“As a relationship lender, Bank of the West has strong ties with numerous private equity firms that have well-articulated strategies, solid investment track records, and a strong commitment to their respective sectors,” said Jean-Marc Torre, senior executive vice president and head of the Commercial Banking Group. “Under John’s leadership we expect to continue to build our reputation as a premier relationship bank among private equity firms.”

Thurston established Bank of the West’s Chicago national banking office two years ago and has more than 20 years of banking experience in Chicago. In his role leading the Private Equity Team, Thurston reports to Mark Glasky, executive vice president and National Banking Division manager at Bank of the West.