David Hakensen, FleishmanHillard, 612-573-3111

Otto Bremer Trust awards $48.7 million in grants and program-related investments in 2017

SAINT PAUL, Feb. 22, 2018 — The Otto Bremer Trust awarded $48.7 million in grants and program-related investments in 2017 to more than 650 organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin.

“These investments represent the Otto Bremer Trust’s commitment to building and strengthening communities across the Upper Midwest,” said Charlotte Johnson, co-CEO and trustee, OBT. “We seek to work with organizations that have made an impact or show great promise, ensuring our investments work harder, achieve more, and make a positive difference across the region.”

OBT’s mission is to invest in people, places, and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Founder Otto Bremer’s commitment to helping people and communities serves as the cornerstone of the Trust’s investment philosophy and has enabled a long-term sustainable commitment to the region.

Through a portfolio of investments that includes its major subsidiary, Bremer Bank, the Otto Bremer Trust has grown its assets from $2 million in 1944 to more than $1.2 billion in 2017 and during that time invested more than $600 million in nonprofit organizations in the Upper Midwest. Over the past five years alone, OBT has invested $221 million in the region.

“With strategic management of these investments—social, financial, and those that are both—we can expect to continue to grow our assets for even greater positive community impact in the future. That was the vision of our founder, Otto Bremer, and we continue to honor his legacy,” said Daniel Reardon, co-CEO and trustee, OBT.

More recently, OBT has increased its commitment to innovative financial solutions, often combining grants and program-related investments to support organizations that can use those funds to further invest in critical organizational infrastructure and their long-term vision. Of its 2017 total distributions, OBT completed $4.5 million in program-related investments and used a $2 million investment to co-lead the launch of an innovative impact investing collaborative for social good and financial returns.

The recent OBT brand update included a new website, providing additional resources for organizations seeking better information on OBT’s grantmaking, investments, and portfolio management. As a charitable trust that is also a $13 billion bank holding company, OBT seeks to leverage all of its resources to maximize impact for the present and future.

“We believe that our brand refresh was critical to better articulate OBT’s unique organizational structure and captures the essence of what we believe is a strong attribute that defines the impact being made in the region—Good Lives Here,” said Brian Lipschultz, co-CEO and trustee, OBT.

For a full list of grants and program-related investments made during 2017, see grant recipients.

About the Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust, based in St. Paul, Minn., is a private charitable trust established in 1944 by founder Otto Bremer, a successful banker and community business leader. OBT owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank and also manages a diversified investment portfolio. The mission of OBT is to invest in people, places, and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Since its inception, OBT has invested more than $600 million in organizations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin.

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