Bremer Financial Corporation Board of Directors will not renominate Otto Bremer Trust Trustees for election to BFC Board

February 22, 2021

St. Paul, Minn. – Today, the Bremer Financial Corporation Board voted not to renominate OBT trustees Brian Lipschultz and Daniel Reardon for election as board members at BFC’s 2021 annual meeting of shareholders, after determining they are unfit to serve as directors of BFC. OBT’s third trustee, Charlotte Johnson, retired from the BFC Board in April 2020. She remains a trustee for OBT.

This action was taken following the BFC Board’s finding that Lipschultz and Reardon failed to disclose to the board OBT’s solicitation of customers for loans on behalf of competing financial institutions. The trustees’ actions are a clear breach of their fiduciary obligations to BFC, violate BFC’s code of conduct and board governance policy, and raise significant additional concerns. Compounding these issues are the matters raised by the Minnesota Attorney General Office’s findings against the trustees, including findings of self-dealing, excessive compensation and spending, hostile work environment, and a shift in focus for OBT away from charitable giving toward financial services.

In light of these considerations, the BFC Board determined that Lipschultz and Reardon are unfit to serve as directors of BFC. At its meeting today, the non-trustee board members requested Lipschultz’s and Reardon’s resignations from the board in accordance with BFC’s conflict of interest policy. The trustees did not resign, therefore the board resolved that Lipschultz and Reardon would not be nominated as board candidates at Bremer’s annual shareholders meeting on April 29.

About Bremer Financial Corporation
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately held, $15 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by the Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer employees. Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, and provides a comprehensive range of banking, mortgage, investment, wealth management, and insurance products and services throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Clients include small businesses, mid-sized corporations, agribusinesses, nonprofits, public and government entities, and individuals and families.

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