North Dakota bank enters Sioux Falls market with acquisition, land purchase

Jan. 13, 2021

A North Dakota bank has purchased land on a prominent Sioux Falls corner and is acquiring a mortgage brokerage company as part of its expansion to the city.

Fargo-based First International Bank & Trust plans to acquire the assets of Sioux Falls-based Sodak Home Loans, a full-service mortgage brokerage company.

Sodak is located at 4930 S. Western Ave. and has 29 employees who will all transition to the new ownership.

The transition is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome the team at Sodak Home Loans to FIBT. As a full-service community bank, our culture and values align nicely, and we share the same level of commitment to our customers. I’m excited about the growth opportunities it brings for all of us,” said Justin Walseth, chief growth officer for First International Bank & Trust.

Sodak, which is licensed in five states, will transition to the FIBT name.

“We are excited about becoming a part of First International Bank & Trust,” said Brent VanderGriend, broker and owner at Sodak. “This transition will expand the mortgage services we can offer to our customers and Realtor partners, while continuing to elevate our position in the marketplace.”

First International Bank & Trust also has purchased land on the northwest corner of 69th Street and Minnesota Avenue. Some initial work to get the land ready for building has been done.

While there aren’t specifics available about the plan at this point, FIBT president Peter Stenehjem said the purchase was made after careful consideration.

“Sioux Falls is a logical place for FIBT’s expansion. Not only would a location be advantageous for our customers geographically but also for us in attracting top financial services talent to serve customers locally and throughout our footprint,” he said.

Family-owned for four generations, FIBT began in 1910 as Farmer’s State Bank in Arnegard, N.D. Brothers Odin and Gerhard Stenehjem were the only employees. Today, Stenehjem family bankers continue to lead FIBT, operating offices in North Dakota, Minnesota and Arizona, employing nearly 700 people in the communities it serves.

Much like Fargo and other cities where the bank has operations and business offices, Sioux Falls consistently ranks among the most livable and business-friendly cities in America, Stenehjem said, adding he believes the city is a strategic and cultural fit for FIBT.

“While Sioux Falls may be unfamiliar with FIBT, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know some of the city’s elected and business leaders through this land purchase and exploratory phase. We appreciate the opportunity to make an investment in the community and contribute to the continued success of its residents and businesses.”

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North Dakota bank enters Sioux Falls market with acquisition, land purchase

A North Dakota bank has purchased a prominent corner and is acquiring a mortgage brokerage company as part of its expansion to Sioux Falls.

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