Community Banking a Major Part of Jack Alberg’s Career
Since Jack Alberg was 13 years old, he’s wanted to be a banker.
“I always thought it’d be cool to be a banker,” Jack says. “I don’t know why. Maybe it was from watching It’s a Wonderful Life.”
And ever since Jack started in banking, he knew that someday he’d want to work as a correspondent banker.
“I’ve really gotten to know a lot of community bankers in my more than 30 years in the field,” Jack notes. “I’ve also always been on the community bank side of the equation. Joining Bell’s correspondent team just seems like a natural fit.”
Jack started with Bell in 2016 and served as president of Bell’s location in White Bear Lake, Minn., where he opened, developed and managed a new Twin Cities banking office. In his role as SVP/correspondent banking business development officer – Minnesota, Jack talks with senior lenders, bank presidents and chief financial offers throughout the state about how Bell can help their banks.
“I love sharing Bell’s story,” Jack explains. “I’ve been doing that with my banking connections and friends ever since I moved to Bell. People are always curious about what Bell is like. I tell them Bell has the horsepower of really large banks, which means we can go head-to-head with larger banks when we need to. Yet our private ownership allows us to make decisions based on long-term goals – not short-term gains, like publicly traded banks. That makes all the difference in the world, along with having leaders who genuinely, deeply care about employees and encourage giving back to the communities we serve.”
Originally from White Bear Lake, Jack earned a degree in economics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. His first job out of college was managing a consumer finance office in Kansas City, Mo., for Norwest Financial. Jack saw it as a gateway into traditional banking, and 4 years later – at age 26 – he opened a community bank branch in Forest Lake, Minn.
“Norwest had just acquired the main community bank in town, and there’s usually a lot of customer turnover when a large bank acquires a smaller bank, so that worked out perfectly for me,” Jack comments. “A lot of those clients didn’t want to bank with the larger institution, and I was able to generate quite a bit of new business.”
Still, he was new to commercial banking and wanted to go somewhere else to get the mentoring he needed. A few years later, Jack was recruited to work for Mid-America Bank, which Norwest acquired less than 2 years after he started. This was also around the time of the Norwest merged with Wells Fargo. In 2000, Jack left to work for a locally owned community bank.
Jack worked there for 17 years, eventually as market president. In his position, he had worked with Bell as a correspondent customer, so he knew Bell’s reputation and experienced the company’s service firsthand. When the community bank he worked for was acquired, Jack sought a position at Bell.
Having spent so many of his banking years on the commercial side, Jack appreciates being able to work with all different kinds of businesses, forging lasting business relationships. He also likes being part of a company’s growth story.
“I still have a good number of relationships from the mid-1990s when I started in banking,” Jack notes. “To me, that’s what banking is all about – maintaining those long-term relationship and developing new ones.”
One of his longest-tenured customers started out with a $100,000 line of credit. Now the company is doing over $40 million a year in revenue.
“To be part of that whole span of growth is pretty incredible,” Jack remarks.