New Correspondent Banker Builds on Farm, U.S. Navy Experience

Growing up on a rural Minnesota farm and spending time in the U.S. Navy taught Perry Rassler the value of working hard and focusing on his goals – traits that help him in his new role as a correspondent banker for Bell Bank.

“Farming is a big part of who I am and always will be,” Perry notes. “I think highly of farming. My dad still farms, and I attribute my work ethic and feet-on-the-ground attitude to growing up on a farm.”

Perry’s agricultural upbringing also prepared him for the 4 years he spent in the U.S. Navy.

“Working hard was nothing new to me; it was just part of who I was,” Perry says. “The military also taught me to be disciplined in how I conduct myself, and to focus on what I want to achieve. After high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but after my time in the military, I knew I wanted to go into accounting (I did a little of that in the Navy), and I finished my degree in 4 years.”


His military experience also opened Perry’s eyes to different cultures, races and walks of life.

“I grew up in the middle of Minnesota and hadn’t been exposed to much,” he notes. “In the military, I learned that everybody has different ways of doing things, but we can still work together as a team to reach a common goal.”


As a senior vice-president/correspondent banking business development officer, Perry works with the leadership teams of other Minnesota banks on participation loans, bank stock financing or whatever they might need in a correspondent banking partner. He has spent nearly 20 years working in banking and finance – the first 9 in accounting and the last 10 as a commercial/business banker.

“I’m excited to expand my banking horizons,” Perry remarks. “I was looking for a new challenge to learn more about banking as a whole. I have a lot of connections in the banking world, and I like working in sales development. As a former accountant, understanding a bank’s financials is a natural curiosity for me.”


And his greatest strength is developing and building relationships.


“As an accountant, I always felt like a square peg in a round hole,” Perry notes. “I love the customer interaction, networking and meeting new people. I have natural curiosities about how businesses and banks started, what their strategies are and how they execute their strategies. That is the part I absolutely love. That’s all exciting to me.”


That’s also what led Perry to leave his job in accounting to pursue a banking career.

“My accounting experience has been great for my banking career, because it has helped me to better understand my customers’ financials,” Perry notes. “But I didn’t like being stuck in the office every day. I love getting out and meeting people, going to their place of business and understanding how it ticks. Banking was a great way to combine my knowledge of accounting with my love of working with people. It was a natural fit.”


After meeting some of Bell’s management team, Perry grew to admire the company and came on board in 2015, first as a commercial/business banker and as of September as a member of Bell’s correspondent banking team.

“I’m excited, not only to work with banks in the metro area, but also in smaller communities across the state,” Perry comments. “Being from a small town, I understand that the bank is often the focal point of a community.”

Perry has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration from St. Cloud State University. He lives in Maple Grove, Minn., with his wife, Carly, and their 3 children.