Senator Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown) says South Dakota’s racket of hiding money for dictators and drug dealers is great because all those trust companies packed into a few offices in Sioux Falls create all sorts of jobs.
Sawmill Private Management is the parent company of Sawmill Trust Company. In 2017, SPM built a swanky new 12,000-square foot office for its 32 employees… in downtown Minneapolis. Sawmill Trust Company maintains an outpost at 222 South Main Avenue in Sioux Falls. I don’t have a roster of employees at either the Minneapolis HQ or the Sioux Falls outpost, but Sawmill Trust Company’s 2021 Annual Report filed with the South Dakota Secretary of State indicates that only two of its fourteen principal officers list addresses in Sioux Falls; the rest are all in Minnesota:
The same is true for Dorsey & Whitney Trust Company, one of the eleven trust company occupants of 410 East 8th Street in Sioux Falls. It’s 2021 annual report to the SDSOS lists twelve principal officers, only one of whom, Carl Schmidtman, who currently chairs our state’s regulatorily captured Task Force on Trust Administration Review and Reform, claims a South Dakota address. Eight live in Minneapolis, two in Seattle, and one in New York City.
Both of these companies butter their bread by telling the world’s richest people what a great place South Dakota is to do and hide your business, yet the vast majority of their honchos don’t move here to enjoy the fruits of our businephilia themselves.
I thus am having a hard time believing that South Dakota’s trust companies are generating paychecks for all that many South Dakotans. However many figureheads or desk jockeys the trust companies need to establish a paper presence to take advantage of South Dakota’s financial trickery, it appears the trust business supports a lot more high-salary employees in the Twin Cities and other, finer burgs.