Martin Oines Joins the Merchants Bank as Trust Officer


Martin Oines

Martin Oines has joined the Merchants Bank Trust Department as a Vice President and Trust Officer, according to Greg Evans, Merchants Bank’s President and Chief Banking Officer.

Oines brings more than 20 years of experience in investment management and trust administration to the position, most recently as a Senior Trust Administrator with Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.

“Wealth management is a growing and important area for us at Merchants. To help provide our current and future customers with the best possible guidance, we have been fortunate enough to recruit some exceptional professionals to our organization,” Evans said. “Martin’s knowledge of investments and dedication to customer outcomes will be a benefit to the people he serves.”

Oines joins Monika Lovewell, who was named Trust Department Manager earlier this year. Evans said their combination of experience and ability should provide Merchants Bank Trust Department customers with an exceptional opportunity to build, manage, preserve and transition their wealth.

“Martin is a Certified Financial Planner, and his depth of knowledge in investment management complements Monika’s expertise in estate planning and the legal aspects of trust work,” Evans said.

Lovewell, who holds a law degree from George Washington University and is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, said she is looking forward to working with Oines.

“Certainly, I think it will be great for us at Merchants, but the real winners will be our customers,” Lovewell said. “I invite the public to give Martin a call.”

The Merchants Bank Trust Department helps individuals and families establish comprehensive wealth plans that identify their needs, goals and resources for retirement. Trust services may include portfolio management and estate planning, as well as acting as an agent under power of attorney or as personal representative for estates.

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Hampton, and the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.

President & CEO Rodney Nelson to Retire January 2017; Greg Evans to Succeed Nelson


From L-R: Greg Evans and Rod Nelson

Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) President & CEO Rodney R. Nelson will retire as of January 31, 2017. Winona Market President and Chief Banking Officer Greg M. Evans will take over the position after Nelson’s retirement, according to Scott Biesanz, Chairman of the MFGI Board of Directors.

Nelson joined the organization in 2000, and will retire after 17 years with the organization, including the past three as MFGI President & CEO. Before serving as President & CEO, Nelson was President of Merchants Bank for the Winona Charter and Executive Vice President for MFGI.

Biesanz noted that in Nelson’s time with Merchants, the organization has experienced significant growth. MFGI had a record year in 2015, posting net income of $13,454,698. Current asset size is $1.654 billion. When Nelson joined the organization in 2000, asset size was $440,288,106. When Nelson took over as MFGI President & CEO at the beginning of 2014, asset size was $1.366 billion. Today, Merchants has 450 employees serving 21 locations in west-central Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota. MFGI stock is currently trading at an all-time high, $48.50, as of Wednesday.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the great team of talented professionals at Merchants. My co-workers have made it their goal to exceed our customers’ expectations every day. That has helped our customers flourish, and because of their success, the communities we serve have grown and Merchants has grown. It has been very gratifying to be a part of that,”Nelson said. “I know that Greg will continue to help our organization excel for the benefit of our customers, shareholders and employees, just as he has done in his current role.”

Evans has been with the Merchants organization for 27 years. He served in the Marketing Department from 1989 to 2007, the last five years as Senior Vice President of Marketing. In 2007, he was named Regional President for Hampton, Cannon Falls, and Red Wing when Merchants Bank acquired those locations. In 2013, Evans was named president of the Winona Market and Chief Banking Officer, providing leadership for all Merchants Bank locations.

“I am truly honored that our Board of Directors has provided me with this leadership opportunity, and am humbled by the responsibility that comes with following Rod. He is an exceptional community banker and has been an extraordinary mentor for all of us at Merchants. I share Rod’s passion for community banking and the ongoing pursuit of excellence. We will continue to strive to grow as an independent community Bank and as a leader in contributing to the economic vitality of this Region. We have an awesome team and will continue to focus on taking care of customers. I look forward to my new role,” Evans said.

MFGI owns 21 Merchants Bank locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Hampton, and the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. All banks are FDIC members and equal housing lenders. Additionally, MFGI also owns Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.

The ownership of Merchants Financial Group is made up of its 450 employees and its shareholders, mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.

Pumpkin Spice Latte



  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso



  1. Whisk 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  2. Pour milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp. Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes. Add espresso and whisk until foamy, 1 minute.
  3. Enjoy!


Recipe from

Meet Matt Schuldt, President/Commercial & Ag Banker


Get to know Matt and how he assists farmers and Ag businesses as a trusted advisor.

When did you start your banking career?
Matt: I graduated in 2001 from St. Cloud State. After college, I worked with an accounting firm that strictly helped banks. I would work with banks of different sizes to complete directors exams and prepare tax returns.

After gaining that experience, I moved into my first Commercial Banking role in 2010. I joined First Community Bank in Lester Prairie, MN as a VP/Commercial Banker.

In 2014, I was lucky enough to move back to my hometown of Caledonia to work at Merchants Bank as a Commercial/Ag Banker and lead our Caledonia and Spring Grove offices. My family and I are happy to be back here. We have been greeted wonderfully and embraced by the community. We’re looking forward to growing old here together.

What do you like most about your job?
Matt: Working with customers on a day-to-day basis and helping solve their problems. I truly enjoy being one of their go-to, trusted advisors.

As part of Merchants’ commitment to our community, I also get to be involved in many different community organizations. Part of my job is to help make Caledonia and Spring Grove better communities for all of us who live and work here.

What is your message to your customers in the ag industry right now?
Matt: I want my customers to know that we understand the cyclical nature of ag markets and the ag economy as a whole. They are going to have high times and low times. During low times like this, both the Bank and myself as their advisor, are going to work with them and stick behind them. We know there will be better times ahead.

What do you hope your customers say about working with you?
Matt: That I looked out for their best interests at all times. I’m here to help them make decisions and give them options for how to meet future goals…whether that’s getting their farm paid off or helping bring their children into the operation. Our community can’t thrive without their livelihood succeeding, so we’re a team.

How can you help farmers and ag businesses?
Matt: There are so many areas where a Commercial Banker can lend expertise. From succession planning to operating lines of credit, loans and more we have options to fit an individual’s situation. Especially in times like this when the industry is struggling, we know we have to get creative with financing and work through financial obstacles together.

What does community banking mean to you?
Matt: It means that our Bank is your trusted advisor for everything, from financing your business or home to teaching your child about the importance of saving with their first bank account. It means that when you step inside the Bank, I know you on a first-name basis. It means that if you ask me to come out to visit your farm, I can be there in 10 minutes.

Ultimately, as a community bank, we realize that without farmers supporting our local economy, our whole town – and many markets Merchants Bank serves – would struggle. The Bank believes in doing everything it can to keep the community strong and growing.

What You Need to Know: Same Day ACH


A new ruling by the association that governs electronic payments (NACHA) will require all financial institutions to accept and process certain transactions, called ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, from businesses same-day. This service is also referred to as Same Day ACH.

While there are many components to Same Day ACH, let’s start with the basics.

What is Same Day ACH?
Same Day ACH is an optional payment method for businesses where payments sent “today” may be received and credited “today.” These payments:

  • Can be sent to any bank account in the United States, including personal accounts.
  • Cannot equal more than $25,000 per transaction.
  • Only include credits.

The Same Day ACH ruling was effective September 23, 2016.

How does Same Day ACH affect my business?
You may also notice Same Day ACH payments may be credited to your accounts more quickly, increasing your funds availability and cash flow opportunities. Plus, payments and payment-related information may flow more rapidly from bank to bank.

In addition to these benefits, Same Day ACH could also impact:

  • Your accounting system
  • Intra-day settlement
  • Trading partner agreements

It’s important to review and prepare these areas of your business for the upcoming Same Day ACH changes.

If your business would like more information on Same Day ACH, contact one of our Cash Management Specialists.