A large North Dakota banking company is opening a Duluth office and has named an experienced Duluth banker as its president.

Fargo-based Bell Bank, which says it is the largest independently owned bank in the Upper Midwest, received permission Oct. 15 to open an office that accepts deposits and issues loans on the 200 block of West Superior Street. 

Tim McShane, former vice president and private banking manager at Republic Bank, is president of Bell’s Twin Ports Region, according to his LinkedIn page. Earlier in his career, he was a commercial lender and commercial credit analyst at U.S. Bank.

He is being joined at Bell by Jason Crawford, who was named vice president and commercial lender, and Chris Theis, vice president and private banking team lead. Both also moved to Bell from Republic bank, where Crawford was assistant vice president and commercial lender, and Theis was vice president and private banking officer.

On Oct. 25, Republic became part of National Bank of Commerce. NBC became the majority owner of Republic via two stock purchases. 

Fifty-three-year-old Bell Bank has more than $6 billion in assets and 24 branches in Minnesota, Arizona and North Dakota. Michael Solberg is president and his father Richard Solberg is board chairman. According to Wikipedia, Richard Solberg, Michael Solberg, Julie Snortland and Laura Snortland Fairfield hold the majority of company shares.

During 2018, Bell employed 1,158 full time equivalent workers.

Bell’s move into Duluth represents one of several bank changes in process or to occur soon in the Twin Ports. Others include the Park State Bank acquisition of Pioneer National Bank and the Frandsen Bank and Trust purchase of a Duluth Alerus branch. Bremer Bank also intends to establish a Duluth presence early next year.