First Fed Invests in Strategic Partnership with Meriwether Group

First Fed Invests in Strategic Partnership with Meriwether Group

Matt Deines and David Howitt
Matt Deines and David Howitt

PORT ANGELES, Wash., July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Northwest Bancorp (FNWB), parent company of First Fed Bank, announced a strategic investment in Meriwether Group, a firm providing accelerator, financial, and family office services.

“The First Fed and Meriwether partnership positions us to serve as a modern-day merchant bank, providing support for entrepreneurs and high growth business opportunities,” shared Matt Deines, CEO of FNWB and First Fed.

The equity investment formalizes a partnership that has developed in recent years. First Fed and Meriwether Group have partnered to serve a number of business clients including BILLY Footwear, Tutta Bella, and Seattle Sun Tan.

“Since our founding, we have sought to align our practice with like-minded partners who understand the entrepreneur’s journey,” said David Howitt, founder and CEO of Meriwether Group. “First Fed shares our philosophy about expanding access to capital, and we bring them our focus on authentic, disruptive, and iconic consumer brands. The partnership further positions Meriwether Group to provide the tools and services that growing companies need from inception to exit.”

“The combined strengths of First Fed and Meriwether Group enhance our ability to assist iconic brands throughout their journey. I’m excited to help our clients grow and prosper by providing access to different forms of capital and debt instruments that no other bank can offer for these middle market companies,” added Jason Gill, Sr. Commercial Relationship Manager at First Fed.

Earlier this year, Meriwether Group and First Fed became two of the three general partners in Meriwether Group Capital (MWGC), which focuses on lending that falls outside that of traditional banks. MWGC has doled out $6.5 million since its launch in April 2022.

Meriwether Group is a trusted advisor and business acceleration firm serving entrepreneurs of iconic, authentic, and disruptive consumer brands. Founded in 2004, Meriwether Group has provided accelerator and investment banking services to companies including Stumptown Coffee, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Airstream, Handel’s Ice Cream, Voodoo Doughnuts, Dave’s Killer Bread, West Elm, MAC Cosmetics, and dozens of other well-known brands.

First Fed has been recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal as a “middle market fast 50,” best workplace, and top corporate philanthropist in 2022. Also, the community bank received a best-in-state bank award from Forbes in 2021. First Fed will be celebrating its centennial in 2023 in Port Angeles, Washington.

Matthew P. Deines
President & CEO

About FNWB

First Northwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: FNWB) is a bank holding company engaged in investment activities including the business activity of its subsidiary, First Fed Bank. First Fed is a community-oriented financial institution which has served customers and communities since 1923. Currently First Fed has 16 locations in Washington state including 12 full-service branches. First Fed’s business and operating strategy is focused on building sustainable earnings by delivering a full array of financial products and services for individuals, small business, and commercial customers. Additionally, First Fed focuses on strategic partnerships with financial technology (“fintech”) companies to develop and deploy digitally focused financial solutions to meet customers’ needs on a broader scale. FNWB also invests in fintech companies directly as well as through select venture capital partners. Fintech partnerships include banking-as-a-service, digital payments, and marketplace lending. FNWB was incorporated in 2012 and is headquartered in Port Angeles, Washington. First Fed is a Member FDIC and equal housing lender.

About Meriwether Group

Meriwether Group is a private lender, investment banking, and business acceleration firm serving entrepreneurs of iconic, disruptive consumer brands. The firm consists of a complementary team of accomplished entrepreneurs, corporate executives, financiers, and lawyers. Meriwether Group’s team uses a unique and effective methodology to accelerate desired outcomes for businesses and their leaders in a brand-centric way. Motivated by its mission to help entrepreneurs Fulfill Their Journey, the firm applies this ethos across a set of business units that represent a continuum of an entrepreneur’s journey including launch, growth, financing, and exits. Meriwether Group was founded in 2004 and has offices in the Slabtown neighborhood of NW Portland and in Marin County, north of San Francisco. It can be found online at

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at:

First Northwest Bancorp First Fed Invests in Strategic Partnership with Meriwether Group