New bank offers suite of financial services for small businesses

FARGO - A different kind of bank will open next spring in southwest Fargo, offering a suite of accounting, insurance, investment and other financial services geared toward small- to mid-sized businesses.Construction on the Aspire Financial buildi...
This rendering shows the new Aspire Financial building now under construction at 5195 45th St. S. in Fargo. Special to The Forum

FARGO - A different kind of bank will open next spring in southwest Fargo, offering a suite of accounting, insurance, investment and other financial services geared toward small- to mid-sized businesses.

Construction on the Aspire Financial building, located at 5195 45th St. S., began earlier this year and is expected to wrap up in May. The 60 or so employees who will work there could be moved in by early June.

While there's no shortage of banks in town, Toby Kommer said unlike most other financial services institutions, this bank will only be a small part of what happens in the 16,058-square-foot, two-story building.

"It allows us to kind of look at things in a much more integrated approach for the small business," he said.

'One team'

After 20 years in the banking and insurance sectors, Kommer began assembling an ownership portfolio three years ago that's led up to this point. He bought half of certified public accountant firm Haga & Associates three years ago and bought the remaining half on Nov. 1, when the firm rebranded to Haga Kommer Ltd. with approximately 20 employees.

Once the building is complete, Haga Kommer will close its existing office at 4654 Amber Valley Parkway and move in. Kommer now serves as president of the firm.

He also acquired two CPA firms in Bismarck in the past year and consolidated them into one Haga Kommer office there with approximately 15 employees.

Nearly two years ago, Kommer began buying out shareholders of F&M National Bank, which was founded in Hatton, N.D., and currently has a small branch in Hatton and another at 902 28th St. S. in Fargo. He now has a majority interest in the bank and serves as director.

The bank will close its Fargo branch next year when it moves into the new building now under construction. Before that, on Jan. 1, it will officially rebrand as Aspire Financial.

And he's now nearing completion on a deal to buy an independent insurance agency that will retain its name but also move into the new building.

In addition to the firms now owned or being purchased by Kommer, the separately owned Red River Financial Group will move out of its downtown office and occupy the second story of the new building to offer investment help and financial consulting.

Kommer is also in talks with an attorney who could have a spot in the new facility and offer legal services.

While these separate operations will continue to serve existing customers and offer their current range of services, he said combining them all under one roof - and encouraging collaboration in the new building - could lead to big benefits for customers.

"We really look at this as one team, even though there's four different entities here," he said. "We're looking at this being one team for the client."