Strategy For Success

Making It Happen—Frandsen Bank & Trust promotes an entrepreneurial spirit among its employees. Above are several staff members of the bank’s corporate office in Arden Hills, Minn.
Making It Happen—Frandsen Bank & Trust promotes an entrepreneurial spirit among its employees. Above are several staff members of the bank’s corporate office in Arden Hills, Minn.

By Rich Hoban

The success that Frandsen Bank & Trust experienced in 2015 was a direct result of Dennis Frandsen’s entrepreneurial spirit and “make it happen” philosophy. Dennis, our founder, employs a management style that allows senior management the freedom to run our bank efficiently, profitably and creatively. Any successes we’ve had or will have can be directly attributed to him, and is why the items detailed below happened.

Frandsen Bank & Trust
Arden Hills, Minn.
ROAA in 2015: 1.45 percent
Assets: $1.6 billion
Retail locations: Nine
Employees: 324
Founded: 1901
Website: www.frandsenbank.com

Our accomplishments in 2015 weren’t the result of one or two new things we tried or an anomaly. In fact, our superior performance last year had modest beginnings that can be traced back nine years, when we held our first strategic planning meeting. That set the course for the future as we looked to be the bridge to financial success for our customers, prospects and communities. The directives, initiatives and goals that grew from the first strategic planning meeting, and subsequent ones (now an annual occurrence), put us on our own bridge to financial success.

Our corporate culture started to slowly take shape nine years ago (and it continues to develop and grow), and that began with defining “The Frandsen Way,” our vision, mission and values. The Frandsen Way communicates to our employees what we’re all about, internally and externally, and what we’re all trying to accomplish. The corporate culture includes initiatives like annual goal-setting, regular employee recognition, on-boarding of new employees, and an increased commitment to communication via our intranet, regular employee meetings, monthly one-on-ones and executive-led semiannual meetings in every office. All of these items promote a “bottom up” style of communication, and this enhances the flow of information in our organization.

Two other things that contributed to our success in 2015 were strong years by our retail investments and wealth management/trust teams, and our technology service offerings. Our retail investments team and trust department have been mainstays at Frandsen Bank & Trust offices, and are gaining real traction with customers and prospects. By offering both retail investments and trust services, we’re being viewed as true advisors, to businesses and retail customers, in the communities we serve. The technology we’re able to offer puts us on par with the big banks. In fact, we offer all the same products and services they do; our customers have told us, Frandsen Bank & Trust is big enough to meet all their needs, but small enough to care.

Finally, none of the successes we’ve had would have been possible without our people and the support of our communities. Much like Dennis Frandsen allows the senior management team to do their jobs; the same can be said of them—they let the bankers do their jobs. And why wouldn’t they? The strategy is set. The vision, mission and values are clear. The products and services we offer are defined. The lines of communication are open. The right people are in the right jobs. It proved to be the right formula in 2015.


Rich Hoban (rhoban@frandsenfinancial.com) is CEO of Frandsen Bank & Trust in Arden Hills, Minn.