Wintrust Financial Corp. in Lake Forest, Ill., has weathered the real estate downturn in part by specializing in the business of financing insurance premiums, and now it wants to free up capital for more traditional lending by securitizing premium-finance loans on its books.

But selling the loans could be easier said than done. Public issuance of premium-finance securities, along with investor demand, has waned and observers say the pace is unlikely to pick up anytime soon.

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