Done Deal: Casey Whipple Finds Niche as Bell’s Correspondent Credit Manager

Casey Whipple was one of the first 3 members of Bell Bank’s correspondent team. After so many years working in correspondent credit, including as credit manager, his knowledge of what it takes for a correspondent deal to be approved has become almost instinctive.

Casey also understands that a denial isn’t always final. He is very willing to work with banks to turn a “not quite” application into one that’s “just right” for approval.

The variety of deals he sees from all over the country keep his job interesting. It’s Casey’s responsibility to look over a deal, scrutinizing the details and analyzing the terms. If he thinks it’s a loan Bell should move forward on, he’ll pass it along to his team of credit officers. If not, he will talk to the banker applying for the participation about why it’s being declined and what, if anything, could be done to improve the terms. 

Casey stresses that it’s always worth asking – even if it seems like a deal might not be approved. He can offer suggestions to get it where it needs to be.

“We definitely try our best to figure out a way to do a deal,” Casey affirms. “One of the biggest advantages of working with a correspondent team like the one we have at Bell is we have the experience and knowledge to get an answer for most deals within 24 hours, so banks know where they stand.”

Sometimes a deal is so unique, no one on the team will have seen anything like it before. That’s when Casey goes to work researching the industry and region to try to understand it better.

“Some of those deals are a challenge, but they’re also really interesting,” he notes.

Working in Bell’s correspondent department is only Casey’s second job out of college.

“It’s easy to come to work every day,” he remarks. “I work with a great group of people. Everybody’s so easygoing. It really does feel like family.”

He knows he’s lucky to have found a job he likes so much so soon after graduation. But when he started at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, working in banking wasn’t part of his plan. Considering a career in law, Casey planned to study criminal justice, and his roommate was a financial management major. After their first year, the roommates basically “traded” majors. Casey switched to financial management and his roommate, who is now captain of the Minot, N.D., police department, opted to major in criminal justice.

“I’ve always been interested in numbers,” Casey says. “I have no problem looking at financials and figuring them out.”

After graduation, Casey worked at Community First (now Bank of the West) for 3 years before joining Bell.

“From our department leadership to the company’s leadership, Bell treats us so well,” Casey comments. “There’s very little turnover in our department.”

Outside of work, Casey likes to go to the gym 5 days a week, and he enjoys coaching his boys’ basketball, football and baseball teams – all sports Casey played when he was in high school.

“I like to see how the kids grow and come together as a team,” Casey says. “It’s also a good way to bond with my kids.

Casey and his wife, Kerri, live in Kindred, N.D., with their sons, Bryce, Gabe and Cael.

If you’re looking for a strong, experienced correspondent banking partner, contact one of our correspondent bankers, give us a call. We’d love to help you.

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