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Merchants Bank Chief Credit Officer Retires, Successor Promoted

January 03, 2022, 07:39 AM

Merchants Bank of Indiana announced the retirement of Chief Credit Officer Richard (Rick) Belser. Robert Burtner, previously Merchants Bank’s Deputy Chief Credit Officer, succeeds Belser and has worked alongside Belser for much of last year. Belser’s retirement took effect at the end of 2021, and Burtner will transition fully into his new role in early January.

Belser is one of the original Symphony Bank alumni, joining in 2007 prior to the acquisition and rebrand to Merchants Bank of Indiana. Previously, he spent the majority of his career at Merchants National Bank (before and after its acquisition by National City) and has served in numerous executive management positions in retail banking, business banking, corporate banking and loan administration.

Over the course of his career at Merchants Bank, Belser has witnessed tremendous company growth. Now, as he approaches his retirement, the company has grown to nearly 500 employees and approximately $11 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2021.

“I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to see the exponential growth of this company over the last 14 years and work alongside these incredibly talented industry professionals,” Belser said. “It’s bittersweet to announce my retirement this year, but I am thankful for my time spent at Merchants Bank and am looking forward to the next journey ahead.”

Burtner joined the company in 2019. Prior to serving as Deputy Chief Credit Officer, he served as Senior Vice President, Bridge and Construction Lending at Merchants Capital Corp. where he was responsible for monitoring new construction and substantial rehabilitation loans for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) and Merchants Bank lending platforms.

Prior to joining Merchants Capital, Burtner worked in commercial banking focused on credit underwriting, credit management, portfolio management, construction monitoring and loan origination.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to transition into this new role with Merchants Bank, and wish Rick all the best in his retirement,” said Burtner. “Our company’s commitment to both our customers and the community is unmatched, and I am eager to see this commitment strengthen as we move into the new year. I know that I have some very big shoes to fill with Rick’s retirement.”

“Rick’s leadership has been a driving force in our company’s growth and success over the last decade, and we wish him well in his retirement,” said Michael Dunlap, CEO of Merchants Bank. “We also welcome Rob into his new role as Chief Credit Officer, where his wealth of experience and knowledge in the industry will undoubtedly guide his successes as we continue to transform.”

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