- Advertisement -spot_img
Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Bremer Bank CEO says he opposed bank sale out of community concern, not self-preservation

Gene Crane, president and chief executive officer of Bremer Financial Corporation, took a witness stand in Ramsey County District Court on Friday and expressed his opposition to the forced sale of Bremer Bank, one of the largest agricultural lenders in the Midwest.

Gene Crane, CEO of St. Paul-based Bremer Financial Corp. (Courtesy of Bremer Bank)

His remarks limited him to the 13th day of testimony in a petition to the Minnesota attorney general to oust three trustees of one of the state’s oldest charities.

Founded in 1944 by German banker and St. Paul philanthropist Otto Bremer, the Otto Bremer Trust owns 92 percent of the Bremer Corporation, the holding company for Bremer Bank, a major agricultural lender in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Crane has taken a leading role in efforts to prevent trustees from selling controlling shares in the corporation to aggressive East Coast hedge funds. The trustees have acknowledged that the October 2019 share sale – since stayed by the courts – was designed to remove him and the board and land Bremer Bank to new owners.

Chris Burns, an attorney with the attorney general’s office, asked Crane — who became CEO in 2016 after more than 30 years in the banking industry — if he was aware of the allegations that he and other bank board officials had their own self at heart. -The protection was in an attempt to block a bank sale. Board members are paid for their service.

Read Also:  US trade deficit widens to record $73.3 billion in August

Crane said that as a shareholder nearing retirement age, she would actually benefit from the sale of the bank, and doubly so because, as CEO, she would be entitled to contractually required severance payments. He said, however, that his concern was about which direction the bank would take in the event of a hostile takeover.

“I have shares in Bremer. It’s interesting to me how the accusation is made. … I’m well protected from control change,” she said. “I could retire comfortably. It was nothing to me personally. … (my) contract, I will have a severance pay. This protects the CEO in the event of a position by the board to release me. “

His testimony is expected to resume on Monday after cross-examination by the trust’s lawyers.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -

Leave a Reply