SHARED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE SOUTH DAKOTA BANKER’S ASSOCIATION.
FNBSF employs around 270 people at its 18 locations in Sioux Falls, Baltic, Brandon, Dell Rapids, Flandreau and Harrisburg. While the bank’s core business, ag banking and retail lines are focused in southeastern South Dakota, its correspondent banking, wealth management and trust business, and The Advantage Network are regional in scope. The Advantage Network is a regional provider of electronic funds transfer services including debit and stored-value programs, ATM driving and monitoring, and chip debit card production.
Another area of FNBSF that stands out is its wealth management group, which Baker said is one of the largest in the state. The division employs 45 people and has more than $5 billion in assets under management. Maggie Groteluschen, Baker’s daughter, is manager of the personal wealth division. Groteluschen, who has worked for FNBSF for six years, knew that working at the family business was part of her career path.
“I was interested in coming to work here and when I was in college, my dad organized a day at the bank where he had me shadow several different women in leadership roles at the organization so I could see what a career path could look like here,” Groteluschen said. “That really got me interested, so I then did some internships during law school.”
After receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Creighton Law with her juris doctor and master in business administration, she joined the bank’s wealth management team as a trust administrator. She assumed her current position on Jan. 1.
Another family member who works at the bank is Bob Baker, Bill Baker’s cousin, who had been in a management role in business banking but has evolved into a corporate affairs position.
Ekstrum joined the bank in 1993 as a management trainee. His father, Charlie Ekstrum, was a majority shareholder and worked for First National Bank in Philip from 1968 to 2004. Having watched the toll the ag crisis of the ‘80s took on his dad, Ekstrum said he originally did not want to work in banking. After graduating from the University of South Dakota, he worked a brief time at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis but quickly decided that doing research in a cubicle wasn’t for him.
“I joke that I literally took a job here because I needed money as I was going back to grad school,” Ekstrum said. “I interviewed at three banks and got three job offers. My dad said he knew this organization and that this was the place that I wanted to be. It wasn’t long that I knew I had found a home.”
Ekstrum transitioned at FNBSF from a personal banker to a business banker, to the manager of the business banking department, to chief banking officer. “Chris was doing a great job as the chief banking officer and essentially was overseeing all of the external-facing aspects and personnel of the bank and was a great community leader as well,” Baker said. “He was just a natural choice as president.”
Since Ekstrum was elected president in August 2016, Baker has been transitioning oversight of the organization to him. This will be Baker’s last year full time at the bank. He is continuing to oversee credit and risk management, but will transition credit during this next year. After he retires, Baker will continue as chairman and work part time overseeing risk management, which includes audit, credit review, compliance and fiduciary risk management.
Be on the lookout for Part 4!