Security State’s new owners still in family [UPDATED]Published 11:15am Thursday, November 1, 2012 Updated 11:51am Friday, November 2, 2012
Decades ago, Steve Lindholm learned the banking business from his father, Paul.
Today, the son is buying the business from his father.
On Wednesday, Independent Bancshares, Inc., which includes Steve Lindholm, his wife Mary Jane, and Steve’s brother-in-law John Virnig, will be purchasing Fergus Falls-based Security State Bank from the ownership group of Fergus Falls Bankshares, owned by Paul, his wife Ruth, daughter Rebecca, and sons John and Matthew.
The purchase of the independently-owned and chartered bank is subject to state and federal approval. Steve said approval would likely come in December or January. Steve would take over as CEO for Paul Lindholm, now 84, who plans to retire about that time.
John Blume would remain the president of Security State Bank. While Steve said he and Virnig will be making regular visits to Fergus Falls, they will continue to live in Granite Falls.
Security State Bank would be the third bank Steve and Virnig own. They acquired Granite Falls Bank in 1996, and Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Clarkfield in 1999, as well as the Olivia and Renville branches of American Bank of St. Paul in 2010.
Although becoming part of a three-bank ownership group will triple Security State’s loan capacity, Steve says the purchase will help the bank compete for larger clients in a community with nine banks.
“We can provide an added source of funding for larger customers,” Steve said.
Steve, an Army veteran, has been involved in banking for more than 25 years, focusing on agricultural and commercial lending and bank management, and previously served on Security State’s board of directors.
“This has been an opportunity for me to be in banking independently from the rest of the family,” Steve said.
He said he thinks the fact that Security State Bank is the only one in Fergus Falls that is independently owned and chartered distinguishes itself.
“It’s certainly a competitive market, but I think we have something unique to offer,” Steve said.
Virnig added that Security State Bank will continue to offer support to community causes.
“We believe this bank has a strong tradition of providing resources to the community, and we plan on continuing that tradition,” he said.
To most customers, however, the change will be all but invisible.
“A lot of the bank’s look and feel will stay the same,” Virnig said. “The decision makers will still be local. It will not have that corporate structure.”
There will be one significant change, however.
“Dad will no longer be the CEO,” Steve said.