First Fiduciary Corporation
Kenneth “Ken” H. Dally, an attorney and vice president of trust at Marquette National Bank in Minneapolis, was 65 years old and contemplating retirement. Carl R. Pohlad, a Minnesota business icon and then-owner and president of Marquette National Bank, approached Ken and expressed his desire for the bank to exit the guardianship and conservatorship business and to divest itself of some of its smaller trusts.
There were no “Independent Fiduciaries” in 1969. At that time, trust and conservatorship assets were managed by banks and regulated by the banking commissioner. Ken met with the Minnesota Banking Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and the State Court Administrator’s Office seeking assistance in how to establish an Independent Fiduciary Organization. It was ultimately decided that First Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) could be incorporated as an Independent Corporate Fiduciary and would be governed and regulated by the state court system and Minnesota statutes.
Ken and another employee of Marquette National Bank, Attorney Stanley Bergstrom, also decided to “retire” from the bank and on June 11, 1969, they filed paperwork to incorporate First Fiduciary Corporation. When it came time for a company name, Ken said, “Well, we are the First … Fiduciary … Corporation in Minnesota!” And with that, a new business was born.
Ken served as the company’s first president from 1969 to 1976, eventually retiring as chairman in 1979 at the age of 76. Stanley was an owner and corporate secretary and treasurer until his retirement in 1975. John M. Coonan, Jr. joined FFC from Northwestern National Bank of St. Paul in 1973 as vice president and later became an owner and its second president. He served as president from 1977 to 1983.
Jerome “Jerry” T. Lodahl was a director and trust officer at Marquette National Bank and was also the equivalent of a CPA. Jerry worked with Ken and Stanley and had wanted to join the company in 1969; he ultimately joined them in 1974 as vice president. Jerry purchased the company from John Coonan in 1983, completing the purchase and becoming the company’s third president in 1985. The company became a family affair, as he employed his wife Shirley and their seven children at various times over the next 20 years. Their duties ranged from typing and filing, to cleaning and organizing, to accounting and beyond.
Jerry’s son, Daniel C. Lodahl, first joined FFC in 1999 as a “part-time” executive vice president. Jerry was contemplating retirement just as the legislature made major changes in the state guardianship laws, including standardization and computerization. Jerry decided that he didn’t care to learn about computers. In 2004, Dan left his position as senior vice president and chief sales officer at KleinBank (now Old National Bank) in Chaska, Minnesota. Dan decided to purchase FFC and became the company’s fourth president. Jerry consulted with Dan for one year, and in 2005 he officially retired as chairman at the age of 71.
Michelle S. Lodahl was director of the City of Minneapolis Skyway Senior Center prior to joining FFC as a vice president in 2007. Michelle continues to serve as co-owner and executive vice president. In 2011, Eric G. Jonsgaard left his position as senior director for Lutheran Social Service (LSS) of Minnesota to join FFC as vice president of operations. On June 11, 2019, FFC’s 50th Anniversary, Dan promoted Eric from vice president of operations to become the company’s fifth president. Eric’s new title is president and chief operations officer (COO). Dan continues as owner, chairman and CEO, focusing on expanding our lines of services and new business development.