Jan 23, 2019

Bell Bank Purchases Warner and Company Insurance

Uniting 2 longtime Fargo Institutions, Bell Bank announced its acquisition of Warner and Company Insurance, which was founded in Fargo more than 100 years ago.

Under the purchase agreement signed today, Bell will purchase Warner and Company Insurance, as well as 2 of Warner and Company’s other full-service agencies: Schiller Insurance in Detroit Lakes and Thompson-Schaefer Insurance Agency in Grand Forks. Together, the 3 agencies have 30 employees.


“We’re very excited to have the team from Warner and Company become part of the Bell Bank family,” says Bell president and CEO Michael Solberg. “Warner has a century-long commitment to building our community and treating people the right way. It’s a fantastic culture fit for our two companies.”


Brian Hayer, president and CEO of Warner and Company, will remain managing director of all 3 insurance agencies under the Bell Insurance brand.


“There’s such perfect alignment of what we value and what Bell values,” Brian comments. “Our teams already share the values of community involvement and ethical decision-making. We treat employees like family. Our core values haven’t changed since the beginning, and it’s the same with Bell. That consistency makes our employees feel at ease, and I see this as a great opportunity for all of us.”


Patrick Chaffee, executive vice president of banking and wealth management at Bell Bank, says Bell’s new insurance line fits in well with Bell’s other banking, wealth management and other financial services.


“Expanding into the insurance arena complements all the other financial services we provide at Bell,” Patrick says. “Being able to do that with the expertise of the team at Warner and Company is exactly what we’re looking for. We look forward to welcoming our new insurance team to Bell.”


Patrick anticipates the final purchase to take place March 31, 2019, following regulatory approval. The Fargo and Grand Forks insurance agencies involved in the transaction will keep their current offices, while the Detroit Lakes agency will be moving into Bell Bank’s Detroit Lakes location. Warner and Company’s current Fargo offices at 318 Broadway in downtown Fargo are undergoing a major renovation, which should be completed at about the same time as the close of the purchase, Chaffee said.


Warner and Company was founded in 1911 in Fargo and is one of the largest independently owned, full-service insurance agencies in the region.