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FIBT to Expand into Sioux Falls

Planned acquisition of Sodak Home Loans and land purchase

First International Bank & Trust (FIBT) announces plans to acquire the assets of Sioux Falls -based full-service mortgage brokerage company, Sodak Home Loans. The transition is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2021. Justin Walseth, Chief Growth Officer for FIBT shares, “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.”

Brent VanderGriend, Broker and Owner at Sodak comments, “We are excited about becoming a part of First International Bank & Trust. 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.”

Additionally, First International Bank & Trust has purchased land at the north-west corner of 69th Street and Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls. Plans for further development at the site are currently taking shape.

While no specifics regarding construction are available at this time, FIBT President, Peter Stenehjem, says 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,” Stenehjem says of the possibility.

The acquisition of Sodak Home Loans assets would mark the North Dakota-based bank’s first office in South Dakota. Family-owned for four generations, FIBT traces its history to Farmer’s State Bank in Arnegard, North Dakota, which opened for business on May 1, 1910. Brothers Odin and Gerhard Stenehjem were the only employees. Today, Stenehjem 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 currently has operations and business offices, Sioux Falls consistently ranks among the most livable and business-friendly cities in America. Stenehjem 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.”