Stearns Bank launches M&A team

Al Doering

One Minnesota bank is setting its sights on a potentially aggressive acquisition strategy in 2021 with a three-person team dedicated to M&A. 

St. Cloud-based Stearns Bank named Al Doering to the newly created position of chief M&A officer, a newly created executive level role. Previously chief credit officer, Doering will now explore new prospects for acquisitions and expansion, focusing on banks from $250 million to $1.5 billion in assets, niche and specialty financing companies, and loan portfolio purchases. 

“We are looking for regulated financial institution merger and acquisition partners nationwide whose staff are experienced with specialty financing or non-interest income,” Doering said. “In addition, we seek independent niche financing companies that are interested in joining a very strong bank, with over 20 percent capital and a bullet-proof balance sheet that can super-charge their financing capacity.”

Doering has more than 30 years of financial industry experience, including time with Crown Bank, Edina, Minn., and U.S. Bank, Minneapolis. He began his career as a credit specialist with the FDIC, and has a degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris.

Rebecca Kronlund
Brian McCarthy

Additionally, Rebecca Kronlund was hired as general counsel, and Brian McCarthy will take over from Doering as CCO. 

Kronlund previously spent time with Wells Fargo, Bell Bank and U.S. Bank, including as in-house counsel. Prior to that, she spent more than 15 years with Minneapolis law firm Briggs and Morgan, P.A. She has a law degree from the Hamline University, St. Paul, Minn., and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

McCarthy brings more than 30 years of senior management and credit experience, including time with Heartland Financial USA, Dubuque, Iowa. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind. 

“With our strong capital position, we are continually exploring fintech initiatives and new opportunities for acquisitions and expansion,” said Kelly Skalicky, Stearns president and CEO. “We are thrilled with the addition of Al, Becca and Brian, who bring a wealth of experience and an all-in work ethic and competitive spirit. These executives will foster our growth plans through our extraordinarily strong balance sheet to ensure strong capital reserves and the highest level of safety and soundness.”

The $2.2 billion Stearns Bank has eight offices in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.