November 14, 2016 - Bremer Financial Corporation (BFC) announced today that its board of directors has unanimously chosen Jeanne Crain as the organization’s next chief executive officer. Crain will assume responsibilities immediately and succeeds Pat Donovan, who in July announced his plan to retire at the end of the year. Donovan will continue his service to Bremer through the end of the year as advisor to the CEO.
Crain has been part of Bremer’s senior leadership team for four years, most recently serving as region CEO of Bremer Bank Twin Cities, as well as group president for BFC overseeing the company’s financial services business, including Bremer Trust, Bremer Investment Services, Bremer Insurance and the two banking regions in North Dakota.
“Jeanne has demonstrated the energy and passion to continue Bremer’s legacy,” said Donovan. “She is a remarkable leader who stands apart with her ability to drive business strategy and successful execution by bringing people and ideas together.”
Crain joined Bremer in May 2012 and has over 34 years of community banking experience, working in a variety of roles in commercial and retail banking, as well as wealth management. Prior to joining Bremer, Crain was president of the Minnesota region at M&I/BMO Harris Bank. Her tenure with M&I began in 2007 when she joined to lead the company’s Twin Cities business banking division, after serving as executive vice president of private and commercial banking for Excel Bank. Prior to that, she served as president and CEO of Marquette Capital Bank. Earlier banking stints include Bank One Milwaukee, where she worked in the private banking group, and five years in commercial banking with First Bank Grand Forks.
Building on Bremer’s strong business strategy was a priority as the board sought to find someone to continue the focus on growth while navigating in a highly competitive and regulated industry. After a comprehensive search, the board is pleased to have found the best individual to assume leadership of the organization.
“In Jeanne, the BFC board has found someone with a proven track record of successful business performance, strong leadership, deep industry knowledge and, most important, a keen awareness that people and culture are the critical ingredients that enable an organization to thrive,” said Ron James, chairman of the BFC board of directors. “With her deep appreciation and understanding of Bremer’s unique business model, Jeanne is the best choice to lead in a highly dynamic environment. We are confident in Jeanne’s ability to successfully execute Bremer’s vision, mission and key strategies to capitalize on the business opportunities in front of us — all while championing the culture that makes Bremer so special.”
Crain will oversee an $11 billion financial services organization with 2,000 employees. “I am truly privileged to get the chance to use what I have learned over the past 34 years in this industry to partner with my talented colleagues as we continue to serve our clients into the future,” said Crain. “Bremer has a great brand, a strong business strategy and wonderful clients who are at the center of all we do.”
“I love this dynamic organization that has a clear sense of purpose,” continued Crain. “I welcome the opportunity to continue building on the high performance that Pat and the senior executive team have established.”
Crain has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and an MBA from Marquette University. Active in the community, she serves on the board of directors for the Greater Twin Cities United Way, Enterprise Minnesota and the Minneapolis Club. She is also a member of The Itasca Project and served as the co-chair of the CEO Build for the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately held, $11 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by the Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer employees. Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota and provides a comprehensive range of banking, wealth management, investment, trust and insurance products and services throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Clients include individuals and families, mid-sized corporations, small businesses, agribusinesses, nonprofits, and public and government entities.