Like many business owners, Thomas Johansson of Minneapolis-based Prestige Products didn’t originally plan to be in the industry he has been in for decades. He was born in Sweden but came to Minnesota in high school to play hockey for Breck. After completing his studies and playing hockey for a college on the east coast, Thomas went to work for Goldman Sachs in the credit department.
After five years working at Goldman and having saved what he hoped to be enough to purchase a business, he left his job in banking to look for a business to start or buy. On a visit to Canada to initiate his work permit in the United States, he looked at a small company in the precision grinding and manufacturing industry and surmised that the equipment used was capable of lasting a long time, keeping the companies that ran those types of machines profitable for many years. While continuing to own the company in Ontario, the Johansson family relocated to the Twin Cities area in the early 2000s and acquired Prestige Products in 2003.
Today, Prestige Products manufactures precision engineered parts in a wide variety of sizes that are used in the defense, medical technology and other industries.
Johansson had been working with a community bank since 2003. When that bank was acquired by a larger bank, he noticed that he was being looked at more by the numbers on a page than as a long-time customer. With his business growing and plans for additional expansion on the horizon, he decided it was time to find a new bank.
He visited VP, Business Banking Luke Ferden at our Shoreview office to talk about his business plans. Johansson wanted to work with a bank that had local decision makers and that would take the time to learn about his business plans, so working with North American Banking Company was a perfect fit.
“What I like about working with Luke is the interest he takes in my business,” said Johansson. “He’s excited about the things that I’m excited about and understands my goals as a business owner. He’s patient and a good listener and he’ll always look for a way to find common ground to make a deal work for everyone.”