Letter to Our Members

Partnership means different things to each of you, and our goal is to effectively and efficiently serve as a partner to each of you. Building stronger communities is everyone’s responsibility, and we’re proud to play our part. We see our role as transforming ourselves so that we can evolve to support you as your customers and your workforce change.

President and CEO, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Bushnell

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Our Commitment

Our products, solutions, and services meet the needs of our members and the communities you serve. The value we deliver to our members is—and always will be—the cornerstone of who we are as a cooperative.

 
  • sustainable-growth
    Sustain and grow the value we deliver

    Sustainable growth

  • exceptional-member-experience
    Serve as a strategic partner, reliable source of funding, and trusted adviser

    Exceptional member experience

  • diverse-team
    Build a diverse team and inclusive culture

    Diverse team

  • reliable-solutions
    Offer products and strategies that meet our members' liquidity needs

    Reliable solutions

  • community-and-social-impact
    Support the communities served by our members

    Community and social impact

Partnering

When we work together—the FHLBank Chicago, our members, partner organizations, and local businesses—we can accomplish so much. We are always listening to our members, always inspired by your dedication to your communities, and always looking for new ways to support your partnerships and help you meet your goals.

A New Way to Grow Local Businesses

Pacific Global Bank is a true community bank that has been serving the Chinatown community in Chicago, Illinois, for the past 23 years. Throughout that time, Pacific Global Bank’s membership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago) has helped this local lender pass along competitive funding advantages to its customers. “Part of our focus is on supporting local development by offering affordable business loans that meet the needs of our diverse customers,” said Wentao Lin, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Global Bank.

The new Community Small Business Advance, introduced in July 2018, provides a 0% advance solution that Pacific Global has used to augment its support of local businesses in Chinatown. “Thanks to our partnership with FHLBank Chicago and the availability of the Community Small Business Advance product, we are better able to achieve our goal of supporting local business growth,” Lin added. “The product enabled our lending team to jump-start an outreach program for our long-term small business customers who are looking to grow and expand.”

“Thanks to our partnership with FHLBank Chicago and the availability of the Community Small Business Advance product, we are better able to achieve our goal of supporting local business growth.”
Wentao Lin, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Global Bank

Pacific Global Bank’s customers are using the funding to develop their businesses in a number of ways, such as hiring additional employees, expanding inventory, and growing a transportation fleet.

The Community Small Business Advance is just one of many advance product solutions available to our members to meet your funding and liquidity needs. At year-end 2018, advances outstanding were $52.6 billion, up 9% from year-end 2017.

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Wentao Lin (second from left), President and Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Global Bank, and the lending team.

Opening the Door for More Municipalities

In 2018, legislation was enacted in Wisconsin clarifying that Wisconsin members may use Federal Home Loan Bank letters of credit to collateralize qualifying public deposits. This legislation allows us to better serve Wisconsin members and their communities; our letters of credit team worked with Capitol Bank based in Madison, Wisconsin, to help them take full advantage of this product as a valuable and efficient alternative to traditional collateralization methods. “This clarification opened the door for more municipalities to do business with us at Capitol Bank,” said Gary Kuter, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking, Chief Compliance Officer, Capitol Bank. “Now we’re able to build relationships with more municipalities and towns in the Madison area.”

The FHLBank Chicago letters of credit product provides members a cost-effective way to attract and secure deposits at a competitive price. At year-end 2018, 215 members had $24.3 billion of letters of credit outstanding, up 24% from year-end 2017. “The letters of credit team at FHLBank Chicago has always made it very easy for Capitol Bank to build lasting connections with our beneficiaries,” Kuter adds. “It really takes a village for this to work and everyone on the team is always happy to help.”


Homeownership Solutions Founded on Community 

At Nicolet National Bank, a community bank in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the importance of community runs deep. “We support our communities, not just by what we give, but also by offering the most innovative products in the market place,” said Eric Witczak, Executive Vice President, Nicolet National Bank. “Our partnership with the FHLBank Chicago is a perfect example of this principle. We combine our strengths to help Nicolet National customers achieve homeownership.”

By leveraging Mortgage Partnership Finance® (MPF®) Program products, Nicolet National Bank accesses the secondary mortgage market to originate and sell conventional fixed-rate residential mortgage loans. “For many families, homeownership seems unattainable, but through the utilization of MPF products, along with forgivable Downpayment Plus® Program grants, it is within reach,” added Witczak. “We were able to award 23 new homebuyers with this unique down payment assistance program, without which some may not be in homes today.”  

Last year, Nicolet National Bank expanded its MPF portfolio by using products that provide additional fee income in exchange for sharing a small amount of credit risk. “By transitioning to MPF 35, we have increased profitability by taking a measured risk that is within our comfort zone,” concluded Witczak.  

At year-end 2018, MPF loans outstanding on FHLBank Chicago’s balance sheet were $7.1 billion, up 37% from year-end 2017.

Homeownership Solutions
Nicolet National Bank lender Kelly Peterik, a client on her closing day, and Scott Dollinger from Keller Williams Realty.

Connecting You to Distinguished Thought Leaders

Distinguished Thought Leaders
Board of Director Lois Scott interviewed former Federal Reserve Chair Dr. Janet L. Yellen at the 2018 FHLBank Chicago Management Conference. This annual conference connects members to notable guest speakers who provide their perspectives on leadership, innovation, and the economy.
As community leaders, it is essential that we never stop learning. FHLBank Chicago conferences connect us with the brightest minds and most timely issues, enriching our personal and professional lives. I wouldn’t miss one!

​President, ​Epoch Advisors

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Supporting Small Businesses in Wisconsin's Hmong Community

The Community First® Capacity-Building Grant Program fills a gap in funding for nonprofit lenders, providing them with operational support that can otherwise be hard to find, giving them the opportunity to expand their capacity, and increasing their impact on affordable housing and economic development in Illinois and Wisconsin.

In 2018, the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce partnered with Town Bank, a Wintrust Community Bank, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to receive a $50,000 Community First Capacity-Building grant. The grant is being used to support a bicultural and bilingual financial literacy program for small businesses and their employees in the vibrant Hmong community throughout Wisconsin. View our video to learn more about how this program is helping the Dakonte Product Group, Inc.

Growing Partnerships with Diverse Vendors

In 2018, we utilized diverse broker dealers for nearly one-third of our asset purchases. Diverse broker dealers, firms that sell us bond investments and issue our debt, often bring unique perspectives, inspiring ideas, and niche specialties that are valuable to us. Working with women-, veteran-, and minority-owned broker dealers is of great importance to us and we’re committed to continuing this momentum.

1/3rd of investments are from diverse broker dealers

As part of our diversity and inclusion initiatives in 2018, we added 111 diverse vendors to our prospective vendor database. At FHLBank Chicago, we feel it is important to develop relationships with businesses that are owned by women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community because they reflect the diversity of our members’ communities. By sourcing from and partnering with diverse businesses like The Goddess and Grocer® in Chicago, we continue to build an inclusive culture at the Bank and foster innovation.

Monica Doyle, Director of Strategic Sourcing and Vendor Management, explained, “We’re very proud of the work we did in 2018, and moving forward, we are focused on increasing our usage of these diverse vendors.”

Debbie Sharpe
Debbie Sharpe, owner of The Goddess and Grocer, works with and sells items from diverse businesses across the country. Our employees enjoyed delicious cake from The Goddess and Grocer on bebolD&Inspire Day in July.

CommuniTeam: The Heartbeat of Our Organization

CommuniTeam

CommuniTeam, our philanthropic volunteer group, provides opportunities for FHLBank Chicago employees to participate in charitable events throughout the year. More than 200 employees participated in CommuniTeam activities in 2018. One of the group’s favorite volunteer opportunities is to visit the Ronald McDonald House located in the nearby Streeterville neighborhood. This past year, groups of employees, including our Executive Team, volunteered their time to cook lunch or make cookies for Ronald McDonald House patients and their families on more than 15 occasions. We look forward to continuing this special partnership for years to come. 

Building

Our members are driven by the belief that you can make your communities better places to live. Homes and businesses struck by natural disasters can be rebuilt. Community spaces can be reimagined and lives can be renewed. We share that spirit, and we're working to support your efforts to build a better future for Illinois and Wisconsin communities.

Increasing Capacity at the Rockford Rescue Mission with the Affordable Housing Program

Pitney Place is owned and operated by the Rockford Rescue Mission, the largest provider of homeless housing and services in the Rock River Valley area of Illinois. “It’s a life-saving resource,” Executive Director Sherry Pitney explained. “We take care of individuals and families by providing a safe, warm environment where they are treated with respect.” Pitney Place is plugged into many local resources that help shelter residents move forward and build the lives they deserve and want to live. In 2018, nearly 500 adults and over 200 children were sheltered at Pitney Place—a 31% increase over the prior year—and 33 adults participated in the 12-month Life Recovery Program focusing on education and job placement. Support is provided by a staff that  includes coordinators, advocates, and many volunteers.

The current building opened in April 2016, the result of an effort that began in 2009, when the program was displaced from its undersized building. A competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant of $850,000 was used in constructing the residential spaces for Pitney Place. This year, the award was assumed by Midland States Bank, based in Effingham, Illinois. 

20161006_113305
This bright, fun play space is available to the children staying at Pitney Place.
Building AHP
This common area supports education and other activities that help residents build the lives they wish to live.

Rebuilding Together

In 2018, through our Community First Disaster Relief Program, member institutions accessed $447,767 on behalf of those living and working in Wisconsin communities impacted by catastrophic weather events including severe storms, flooding, and mudslides. The program supported rebuilding efforts following three FEMA-declared disasters covering counties across northern, central, and southern Wisconsin. 

Royal Bank in Elroy, Wisconsin, leveraged the program to distribute over $200,000 in grant funds to individuals and small business owners in six different counties, according to President and CEO Daniel Ravenscroft.

“Having witnessed the destruction firsthand, I can attest that these people needed every bit of aid available to them,” Ravenscroft shared. “We feel privileged to have been able to participate in the Community First Disaster Relief Program. This has been a truly meaningful experience for everyone involved.”

Since the inception of the Community First Disaster Relief Program in November 2013, we have committed over $1.3 million in disaster relief funding across Illinois and Wisconsin.

"We feel privileged to have been able to participate in the Community First Disaster Relief Program. This has been a truly meaningful experience for everyone involved."
Daniel Ravenscroft, President and CEO, Royal Bank


Sparking Conversations that Create Change In Our District

"It’s been gratifying to watch the Community Investment Advisory Council’s relationships with the FHLBank Chicago team grow stronger every year, sparking conversations that inspire change for individual neighborhoods and whole communities throughout our district."

Community Investment Advisory Council Chair (2011 – 2018)
and Principal, Community Enrichment Consulting, Birchwood, Wisconsin.

Community Investment Advisory Council Chair (2019) and Executive Director,
Springfield Housing Authority, Springfield, Illinois.

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Building in Our Backyard

Giving back to communities in the Chicagoland area matters to our employees. FHLBank Chicago employees participate in numerous volunteer activities each year, such as the Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon, Habitat for Humanity building projects, and NeighborWorks Day.

The Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon is Chicago’s largest day of volunteering. In 2018, 5,000 volunteers from a variety of businesses and organizations came together to paint, plant, clean, and improve Chicago Public Schools. This event has been a part of CommuniTeam’s annual volunteer efforts for the last 10 years.

Every year, CommuniTeam sends about 30 volunteers to assist in building and improving homes for families around Chicago through Habitat for Humanity.

For the past eight years, our employees have also participated in NeighborWorks Day, sponsored by Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. Each spring, employees who love to work outside and garden look forward to this opportunity to revitalize Chicago neighborhoods by planting flowers, fixing up empty lots, and painting picket fences.

Transforming

Our members are bringing change to their communities and embracing the power of diversity. We are finding strength in our differences, responding to members' needs, and innovating our business practices to evolve right along with you.

You Inspire Us: Verve, a Credit Union Builds Bikes for Oshkosh Youth

"We wanted to give our team members a surprise that would leave a lasting impact not only on them, but on the community."
Kevin J. Ralofsky President and CEO, Verve, a Credit Union

Building stronger teams to help build stronger communities is what Verve, a Credit Union, is all about. The Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based credit union is home to more than 250 employees who energetically and enthusiastically serve nearly 60,000 members throughout Wisconsin. During their all-team training and enrichment day in October 2018, Verve team members worked together to assemble bikes for kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh.

The annual team summit is designed to promote teamwork and collaboration, and most importantly, to identify opportunities to benefit others.

“We wanted to give our team members a surprise that would leave a lasting impact not only on them, but also on the community,” said Kevin J. Ralofsky, President and CEO of Verve. “The bike-building activity was the perfect fit to wrap up a day devoted to servant leadership by performing a Random Act of Verve—our way of surprising and uplifting community members—through assembling and giving bikes to kids.”


Community Investment Connections that Make an Impact

Community First Fund partners are committed to transforming their local communities in Illinois and Wisconsin through innovative, responsive economic development lending. One such partner, Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), provides flexible, affordable, and responsible financing and technical assistance for community stabilization and development efforts. CCLF’s work is focused on benefiting low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, families, and individuals throughout metropolitan Chicago. 

In 2015, CCLF was the recipient of a $5 million, 10-year Community First Fund loan to help grow its economic development programs, which include affordable housing loans and support for community/commercial retail properties. At year-end 2018, FHLBank Chicago  had committed $47 million of the $50 million revolving Community First Fund as part of our ongoing effort to directly support community development loan funds and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) like CCLF.

In September 2018, CCLF became a member of FHLBank Chicago. This makes CCLF the fifth Community First Fund partner to become a CDFI member of the Bank, advancing its potential use of the Bank and gaining opportunities to continue expanding its community lending capacity. 

Community First Fund Partners

Transforming Our Community Inside So That We Can Transform Our Communities Outside 

2018 was an exciting year of transformation for our employees. A renewed commitment to our diversity and inclusion efforts took shape in a variety of meaningful ways. Working groups hit the ground running in the areas of capital markets, culture and community, supplier, and workforce. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) continued to form to encourage a diverse and inclusive work environment. The African-American, Global Diversity, Green, Hispanic, and Women’s ERGs hosted educational information sessions, learning opportunities, and events throughout the year that were open to all employees. Over 300 employees participated in a working group or ERG initiative in 2018.

Mid-way through the year, on July 11, 2018, FHLBank employees celebrated our progress by celebrating our differences, our actions, and our inspiration. On bebolD&Inspire Day, employees entered the workplace to an animated welcome, colorful balloons, energetic music, delicious food from The Goddess and Grocer®, and a question: “How are you going to be bold and inspire today?”

“It was attention-getting and everyone was involved in an easy way—they were doing what they always do—coming to work,” commented Alma Tello, co-leader of the Latino ERG. “We created buzz and were able to engage people individually and collectively.” 

Fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion is an ongoing journey. By inspiring our employees to bring their best selves to work, embrace our differences, and strengthen our teamwork, we are able to best serve our members.

Bold Actions Inspire Change: A Conversation with John K. Reinke and
Cedric D. Thurman

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion at the FHLBank Chicago starts with our leadership. Cedric D. Thurman joined the Executive Team in 2018 as our Chief Diversity Officer. He and John K. Reinke, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, took a walk through the halls of the Bank to reflect on 2018 and the year ahead. View our video to hear more from John and Cedric about their shared vision for continuing to create an inclusive culture and transform our community within the Bank in support of our members. By transforming our community inside, we can transform our community outside in support of the increasingly diverse communities our members serve.

Evolving Our Business Practices to Meet Your Evolving Business Needs

As a cooperative, we are committed to delivering the highest value to our members in the most efficient and reliable manner possible. By strengthening our core business practices and striving to bring innovative solutions to our members faster, we are transforming how we approach the way we support our members. This commitment to operational excellence positions both our Bank and our members for future sustained success.

Senior Vice President and Group Head, Strategic Initiatives

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2018 Financial Highlights

The below financials are selected year-end 2018 highlights. For more complete year-end 2018 financials select view performance summary or view community investment performance summary below. 

 

Performance Summary

 Assets  Liabilities  Capital Net Income
 2018 $92,857 $87,568 $5,289 $303
 2017 $84,355 $79,503 $4,852 $317
 2016 $78,692 $73,997 $4,695 $327

Dollars in millions  |  For the years ended December 31

Products

Advances Advances
MPF Loans Outstanding MPF Loans Outstanding
Letters of Credit Letters of Credit


Dollars in billions | For the years ended December 31 | Advances and MPF Loans are outstanding on balance sheet; Letters of Credit are off balance sheet 

Community Lending

  2018 Beneficiaries  2018 Dollars
 Community Development Advance 17 (t) $147,987,540
 Community Housing Advance 3,253 (u) $377,575,160
 Community Small Business Advance 15 (t) $4,332,014

(t) transactions  |  (u) housing units

Grant Programs

Competitive AHP Round Dollars - Total $28,353,708
Competitive AHP Round Units - Total 2,566 units
DPP Dollars - Total $20,031,904
DPP Beneficiaries - Total 3,507

Voluntary Programs

  2018 Beneficiaries  2018 Dollars (committed)
Community First Awards i 4 $40,000
Community First Capacity-Building i 7 $252,304
Community First Disaster Relief i 90 $447,767
Community First Fund ii 2 $3,000,000

(i) beneficiaries are grants  |  (ii) beneficiaries are partners

The financial highlights should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” all of which is included in our 2018 Form 10‑K that was filed with the SEC on March 8, 2019.

 

Leadership

  • Michael G. Steelman, Chairman

    • ​Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
    • Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Bushnell
  • John K. Reinke, Vice Chairman

    • ​Chair of the Board of Directors
    • ​The Stephenson National Bank & Trust
  • James T. Ashworth

    • ​Vice Chairman
    • CNB Bank & Trust, N.A
  • Owen E. Beacom

    • Senior Vice President
    • Byline Bank
  • Edward P. Brady

    • ​President and Owner
    • ​Brady Homes and Brady Group
  • Mary J. Cahillane

    • Management Consultant
  • Mark J. Eppli

    • Director of the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate
    • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Joseph Fazio III

    • ​Co-founder, Board Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer
    • ​Commerce State Bank
  • Michelle L. Gross

    • ​Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Information Systems Officer, and Director
    • ​State Bank of Bement
  • James H. Hegenbarth

    • President and Chief Executive Officer
    • The Park Bank
  • Phyllis Lockett

    • ​Chief Executive Officer
    • ​LEAP Innovations
  • David R. Pirsein

    • ​President and Chief Executive Officer
    • ​First National Bank in Pinckneyville
  • Leo J. Ries

    • Management Consultant
  • Lois Alison Scott

    • ​President
    • ​Epoch Advisors
  • Ty R. Taylor

    • ​President and Chief Executive Officer
    • Waukesha State Bank
  • Daniel G. Watts

    • Director and President
    • Forest Park National Bank and Trust Company
  • Gregory A. White

    • ​President and Chief Executive Officer
    • LEARN Charter Schools
  • Charles D. Young

    • ​Chief Operating Officer
    • Invitation Homes
  • Matthew R. Feldman

    • President and CEO
  • Kim Cullotta

    • Senior Vice President and Group Head, Human Resources
  • Michael A. Ericson

    • Executive Vice President and Group Head, Members and Markets
  • Virxhini Gjonzeneli

    • Senior Vice President and Group Head, Strategic Initiatives
  • Thomas H. W. Harper

    • Executive Vice President, General Auditor
  • Michelle Jonson

    • Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer
  • Roger D. Lundstrom

    • Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
  • Samuel J. Nicita

    • Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer
  • John Stocchetti

    • ​Executive Vice President and Group Head, Mortgage Partnership Finance® (MPF®) Program
  • Cedric D. Thurman

    • Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Laura M. Turnquest

    • ​Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • Jackie L. Newman, Chair

    • Executive Director
    • ​​Springfield Housing Authority
  • David Porterfield, Vice Chair

    • Director of Real Estate Development
    • Movin' Out, Inc.
  • Mark Angelini

    • President
    • Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • Deborah E. Bennett

    • Senior Program Officer
    • Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Allison Milld Clements

    • Executive Director
    • Illinois Housing Council
  • Audra Hamernik

    • Executive Director
    • ​​Illinois Housing Development Authority
  • Russell D. Kaney

    • Director, Rural & Native American Initiative
    • Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
  • Irma Yepez Klassen

    • Program Officer
    • Zilber Family Foundation
  • Tom Landgraf

    • Principal
    • Dimension Development, LLC
  • Sharon K. Legenza

    • Executive Director
    • Housing Action Illinois
  • Kevin Newell

    • President and Chief Executive Officer
    • Royal Capital Group
  • Sean O’Brien

    • Director of Commercial Lending
    • ​​Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
  • Mary Patoka

    • President and Chief Executive Officer
    • ​​CAP Services
  • Valerie Johnson Renk

    • Chief Executive Officer
    • Habitat for Humanity of Dane County
  • Katrina Van Valkenburgh

    • Managing Director
    • ​​Corporation for Supportive Housing