Minnesota has been a lonely outpost for Bank of America Corp., the country's second-largest bank.
But with the acquisition of Merrill Lynch, the lending giant added some local heft it plans to build on.
For more on the game plan, the Star Tribune spoke with Daniel Statsick, the bank's new Minnesota state president and market director for the bank's local U.S. Trust business, in his office in the IDS tower in Minneapolis.
QBofA has only a small presence in Minnesota -- nine Merrill Lynch offices, BofA's U.S. Trust business and two branded ATMs. ... Is there more?
AWe have three mortgage loan origination offices. Those are legacy Countrywide. We just hired a new head of our mortgage loan team, Kevin Greene. They're working very hard right now originating new mortgages. I believe they have 12 mortgage loan originators. They're in Bloomington, Apple Valley and Woodbury.
What we're missing here in the Twin Cities is that consumer presence. From a business perspective, we are working with the largest companies here in the Twin Cities. We have one commercial banker, one middle market banker, here in the Cities. We're growing and we're building that presence. And we'll continue to grow that, but right now they're being served out of New York, and primarily out of Chicago.
QWhy is the consumer presence so small?
AIt's just legacy. If you look at the growth of Bank of America, it's really through acquisitions of large banks, whether it's Boatmen's in St. Louis, Fleet in Boston. ... We are working with our clients whether it's mobile banking or online banking to give them that consumer presence. I don't know when there will be branches or a consumer presence here, bricks and mortar. That may come down the road. I'm not sure.
QWho are the target audiences for U.S. Trust and the Merrill Lynch offices?
AU.S. Trust is high-net-worth families, and that is typically over $3 million in investable assets. We have a solution whether it's $100,000 or $100 million.
QWhat are the combined assets under management in Minnesota?
AJust over $20 billion.
QBofA CEO Brian Moynihan says he expects to cut $8 billion in annual expenses and 30,000 jobs through Project New BAC. Safe to say BofA's presence in Minnesota won't be growing much?
AWe want to be the best financial services company in the world. Being the biggest really has no return to the client. Being the best does. They've looked at every line of business and said, "How can we be more effective in delivering our services to our clients?" What's happening now in the Twin Cities is we're adding positions to grow this market.
QIs there going to be more of an emphasis on retail or business banking?
AI can't answer the retail aspect of it but absolutely on the business banking side. We hired Michael Mrnak. He joined us in September from U.S. Bank. He's our business banker.
QIf you're going to have more of an emphasis on business banking here, don't you need a branch network for that?
AGiven the nine Merrill Lynch offices, given the 450 employees here ... we are growing organically through integration. We're hoping that the next phase of our growth may be a branch network, but that's not in our plans right now.
QWhere are you going to get the business bankers from?
AThere's a lot of great talent in the town. We ask our clients who they feel the best bankers are in town, and then we'll go talk to them.
QWhere were you before BofA?
AI was with M&I Bank here in the Twin Cities. I was head of the wealth management team. I came here in 2004 from Chicago, where I was with Fifth Third Bancorp.
QWhere do you report?
AI report to Amy Hughes, a regional executive out of Chicago.
Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683