How one community bank is taking its fight national

Can a bank be a champion for the underdog and still be profitable? Absolutely, believes David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks, a $1 billion institution based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

David’s father, Bill Reiling, grew up as a poor farm kid, but eventually found success as a real estate entrepreneur around St. Paul. In the 1980s, Bill invested in two distressed banks, Franklin Bank and Park Midway Bank. David said his father Bill wanted the banks to be good citizens and to make sure, in Reiling’s words, “that the small guy wouldn’t get screwed.” And under his father’s leadership, David said the banks did okay.

In 1995, Bill added distressed Meridian Bank to the mix, renamed it University Bank, and asked his son David to run it. David’s father told him he must continue doing good in the community, but he was given free rein with respect to how that aim could be accomplished.

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