Trustees file Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Petition for Interim Relief

Today the trustees of the Otto Bremer Trust filed their Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Petition for Interim Relief.

Impacted and at-risk communities across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest have been served extraordinarily well by the legacy of Otto Bremer, who created the Trust that bears his name. Over the last eight years, that Trust has distributed more than $400 million to charitable organizations, grown charitable assets from $761 million to more than $2 billion, and done so while maintaining an expense ratio that is better than every peer philanthropic organization in the state. The Trust—its three Trustees and extraordinarily capable staff—are solely dedicated to the mission of the Trust and responding to the unprecedented challenges of 2020.

From the inception of the Trust in 1944, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office has comprehensively and carefully overseen the work of the Trustees. Throughout that time the AGO has repeatedly reviewed and approved their compensation, evaluated their policies on grantmaking and conflicts, confirmed their compliance with the various provisions of the Trust Instrument, carefully tracked their expenses and costs each year, and fulfilled its important oversight function with great care.

It is thus difficult to understand the AGO’s sudden action to seek removal of the Trustees, particularly when the Trust is experiencing exceptional growth and grantmaking and when the AGO has offered no evidence of any “imminent harm” necessary for the relief it seeks. This filing provides the true record of how the Trust discharges its responsibilities and we look forward to a trial on the merits as soon as practicable.