Bell Bank Hires Zehr to Lead New Equipment Finance Division

Bell Bank launched Bell Bank Equipment Finance, a new division of the bank. This division will enhance Bell’s commercial and industrial (C&I) lending capabilities by offering equipment financing options across a wide range of industries, primarily focusing on manufacturing, transportation, construction and agriculture.

Eric Zehr, president of the new division and a veteran in the equipment finance industry, has hired a seasoned team averaging over 20 years of experience in this specialized field.

Zehr is a 24-year veteran in equipment finance, having previously worked for Farm Credit Leasing, GE Capital and Merchants Bank Equipment Finance. Other new division members include:

  • Travis Johnson, SVP/credit officer, who has been in equipment finance for 25 years, the last 15 years with TCF Equipment Finance and related entities
  • Tim Stickler, VP/controller, who also joined Bell from TCF Equipment Finance, where he worked for the last 14 years
  • Sally Laing, VP/documentation manager, who has been in the banking field for 17 years and worked at Merchants Bank Equipment Finance for the last 7 years
  • Jeff Tibbetts, VP/territory manager, who has been in the equipment finance field for the past 10 years and was previously employed by Merchants Bank Equipment Finance

Zehr anticipates that many of Bell’s existing business clients, as well as new customers, will take advantage of the bank’s expanded equipment financing capabilities. The group will also provide vendor financing services and work with other financial institutions on syndicated transactions.

“We look forward to partnering with our existing commercial lending and correspondent banking customers and prospects to offer new products not typically accessible without a dedicated equipment finance platform,” said Zehr.

The initial team will work out of an office in Minneapolis.

Chartered in 1966 and headquartered in Fargo, ND, Bell Bank is one of the nation’s largest privately held banks. It offers full-service commercial, consumer and private banking as well as mortgage, wealth management and equipment finance services.

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