First Women’s Bank has filed applications with the FDIC and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to organize FWBank, an Illinois chartered bank. Former SBA chief Marianne Markowitz will lead the new bank.

“Women represent a large, powerful and growing part of the economy, and they are demanding a different banking experience,” said Markowitz, who is serving as CEO. “It’s time for a bank that prioritizes connection, solutions and responsiveness.”

Headquartered in Chicago, First Women’s Bank will be an innovative commercial bank that will serve small and mid-sized businesses and individual deposit clients. The bank, expected to open in 2020, will have a strategic focus on the women’s economy.

In addition to Markowitz, who served as interim SBA director under President Obama, First Women’s Bank’s organizers include:

  • Lisa Kornick, entrepreneur and an owner of the DMK restaurant group in Chicago.
  •  Melissa Widen, attorney, entrepreneur and executive with over 25 years of business and legal experience.
  • Beth Wnuk, with 25 years of experience in the financial services industry in executive leadership roles.
  • Amy Fahey, a banking executive who spent nearly 29 years at JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors in Chicago, holding senior positions in banking, finance and risk management.

Additional members of the organizing group include Misha Blackman, Ann Danner and Kim Vender Moffat.

Markowitz will lead the management team, and Fahey will serve as chair of First Women’s Bank’s board of directors.

“I look forward to working with this distinguished and diverse Board of Directors,” said Fahey. “The deep banking and financial services experience these individuals bring will help First Women’s Bank achieve its goals and deliver on its mission.”