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Bremer Bank announces expansion into franchise banking marketplace


Bremer Bank today announced its official expansion into the franchise banking space. The company’s newly created Franchise Banking Solutions team will allow Bremer Bank to bring enhanced value to its business clients in the franchising space. The team of five franchise banking experts collectively bring nearly 100 years of relevant experience to Bremer’s franchising team.

“Bremer is energized to officially further its presence in this dynamic industry market space, and we look forward to partnering with business owners as they pursue opportunities to continue to grow and thrive,” said Jeanne Crain, Bremer’s president and CEO. “Our business purpose is rooted in supporting businesses and their owners, and our investment in talented experts and solutions in the Franchise banking arena reinforces that commitment.”

Bremer’s Franchise Banking Solutions team is made up of talented, savvy experts who have a passion for working with business owners. This team is part of Bremer’s Specialized Business Solutions, which is led by Senior Vice President and Director, Joe Chow. Shaun Coard, Senior Vice President of Franchise Banking Solutions, is leading the new effort. The team is made up of longtime financial professionals with expertise in franchise and business banking, including Perla Kruse, Neil McTiernan, and Erik Westeen.

“For more than 25 years, I have worked with hundreds of customers to help them navigate the often nuanced yet rewarding franchise process,” said Shaun Coard, senior vice president of franchise banking solutions at Bremer Bank. “I’m pleased that Bremer is expanding into this space, and I look forward to meeting and building partnerships with business owners from all the vibrant communities across the country.”

More information about Bremer Bank’s new franchise services can be found on

Bremer’s Franchise Banking Solutions team

Shaun Coard, Senior Vice President of Franchise Banking Solutions

Shaun Coard leads Bremer’s Franchise Banking team, working directly with franchise customers throughout Bremer’s footprint and beyond.

Before assuming her current role, Coard served in management positions in commercial, business, and marketing and retail banking. She has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Coard earned a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and graduated with honors from University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business, where she earned a master’s of business administration.

Coard has won multiple financial services awards and often presents financial literacy courses across the country to audiences of all demographics.

Perla Kruse, Vice President of Franchise Banking Solutions

Kruse has been with Bremer since 2006, serving as a personal banking officer, a branch manager and vice president of business development before moving to the Franchise team.
Kruse holds a business administration degree from Centro Universitario de Mazatlan. She remains committed to her community in many ways, serving as an active member of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and regularly volunteering with Aeon and other organizations that support the Latino community.

Neil McTiernan, Vice President of Franchise Banking Solutions

McTiernan joined Bremer in 2021. Before assuming his current role, he served as a vice president, relationship manager at Woodforest National Bank and covered franchise and restaurant banking. He has worked in the banking industry since 2001.

Erik Westeen, Vice President of Franchise Banking Solutions

Erik has been with Bremer since 2007. Before assuming his current role, Erik served as the cash automation solutions manager for Bremer, working closely with franchisees and small business owners to understand their cash handling processes and helping to develop solutions to create efficiencies, minimize risk, and streamline operations. Erik relies heavily on that expertise today working with franchisees all over the country.

Erik holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Minnesota State University – Mankato.

L to R: Shaun Coard, Perla Kruse, Neil McTiernan, Erik Westeen

About Bremer Financial Corporation

Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately held, $15 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, mortgage, investment, wealth management, trust and insurance products and services throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Clients include small businesses, mid-sized corporations, agribusinesses, nonprofits, public and government entities, and individuals and families.