Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer Bank: What’s the relationship?

We are often asked what the relationship is between Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer Bank. It’s a fair question and one we’re happy to answer. Founded in 1944 by banker and community leader Otto Bremer, the Otto Bremer Trust is a private bank holding company and charitable trust based in St. Paul, Minnesota. We are the 92 percent owner of Bremer Bank (the other 8 percent is owned by bank employees) and we also manage a diverse investment portfolio. It is the return on our investments that allows us to make grants and PRIs to organizations and communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin.

It’s important to note that OBT and Bremer Bank operate independently. We are not a corporate foundation. And while OBT is the majority owner of Bremer Bank, applicants for OBT grants or program-related investments are not required or expected to be customers of Bremer Bank. OBT makes its grant and investment decisions based on community and regional needs and potential impact within the Upper Midwest, following the direction established by Otto Bremer when he created the trust.

Since its founding, OBT has invested more than $700 million in people, places, and opportunities across the region.