Stearns Bank named Al Doering chief M&A officer, a newly created executive-level role. Doering previously worked with Stearns Bank as its chief credit officer and now will explore new prospects for acquisitions and expansion, focusing on banks between $250 million to $1.5 billion in assets, niche and specialty financing companies, and loan portfolio purchases.

“We are looking for regulated financial institution merger and acquisition partners nationwide whose staff are experienced with specialty financing or non-interest income,” Doering said. “In addition, we seek independent niche financing companies that are interested in joining a very strong bank with over 20% capital and a bullet-proof balance sheet that can super-charge their financing capacity.”

In addition to Doering, two new top-level executives have expanded Stearns Bank’s expertise in specialty lending and fintech partnerships in 2021.

Rebecca Kronlund joined as general counsel, bringing legal expertise from her prior service as in-house bank counsel and at a large law firm practice spanning more than 15 years. Kronlund will add specialized legal experience to boost Stearns Bank’s proficiency in digital platforms and fintech initiatives.

In addition, Brian McCarthy is taking the helm as chief credit officer. McCarthy has more than 30 years of senior management and credit experience from financial institutions with asset sizes ranging from $600 million to $15 billion. As chief credit officer, McCarthy will be responsible for Stearns Bank’s overall asset and portfolio quality and credit risk management, including overseeing new opportunities and acquisitions to identify, mitigate and monitor current and emerging credit risks.

“With our strong capital position, we are continually exploring fintech initiatives and new opportunities for acquisitions and expansion,” Kelly Skalicky, president and CEO of Stearns Bank, said. “We are thrilled with the addition of Al, Becca and Brian, who bring a wealth of experience and an all-in work ethic and competitive spirit. These executives will foster our growth plans through our extraordinarily strong balance sheet to ensure strong capital reserves and the highest level of safety and soundness.”