The Pohlad family is getting out of banking, selling the financial arm of its business portfolio for $182.5 million.
UMB Financial, a company in Kansas City, Mo., will pay the family in stock for Marquette Financial Companies, which includes banks in Texas and Arizona, plus lending and asset management firms in Dallas and Minneapolis. Of the company's 270 employees, about 50 are in Minneapolis.
“It’s a sentimental time for our family, because it kind of ends the legacy of direct involvement in banking that our family’s always had, beginning with my dad,” Marquette Financial Chairman Jim Pohlad said Monday.
Carl Pohlad, a Des Moines native who settled in Edina, built the family fortune through a network of banks that he sold to Wells Fargo in 2002. The family has owned the Minnesota Twins since 1984, as well as commercial real estate and auto dealerships.
The banks in Phoenix and Dallas, both doing business under the name Meridian, were the last of the Pohlad retail banks. The Arizona branches struggled after making too many loans to housing developers before the collapse in home prices and the financial crisis. At the peak, such loans made up about 30 percent of the Meridian Bank’s $2.3 billion in assets.
Defaults slammed the bank just after Carl Pohlad died in 2009, and the family ended up pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into Meridian to prop up bad loans and rescue the bank.
“The bank went through a rocky period in the 2008-09 period, and we worked really hard to get it back to where it was a valuable franchise,” Jim Pohlad said. “Fortunately we were able to do that, and UMB saw that.”
By 2014 the company was stable enough to acquire another bank in Texas, and it is now trimmed to $1.2 billion in assets.
The sale to UMB, a larger financial holding company, was announced Monday. Since it is an all-stock deal, the Pohlads will still be significant investors.
The Pohlads have also been among those gearing up for battle with the Wilfs, who own the Vikings, over who would own a new soccer franchise in Minneapolis. A group headed by former UnitedHealth Group executive Bill McGuire — and reportedly including the Pohlads and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor — would have to build a new stadium if they decide to pursue the franchise.
Pohlad said the simmering soccer question is not related to the sale of Marquette Financial.
“No, that has nothing to do with it. No connection,” Pohlad said. “We still like the financial services business. We just think the opportunities for value creation from our family’s standpoint are better aligned with a bigger bank.”