About Us - Fortress Bank (2023)

Our Philosophy

This is where your Vision comes together.

We’re fortified with lots of sharp visionary thinkers, most of whom have walked in your shoes. And we have the scuff marks to prove it. We understand that bold visions often require progressive tactics. Our roll-up-your-sleeves tenacity drives us to move beyond typical banking conventions and find more creative financial solutions proven to grow your business.

Our History

Over 120 years in banking. How’s that for strength?

About Us - Fortress Bank (1)

We opened our doors in 1904 and have remained dedicated to helping those in our community with sound financial solutions for business and personal use. Today, we have nine banking centers in Illinois and Iowa and a team of super smart associates with a heavy emphasis on helping businesses thrive.

In 2008 Lee Garlach with a group of visionaries purchased the bank and a few months after his arrival, the financial crisis hit, making things challenging to say the least. As the crisis spread into a global economic shock, many banks failed. But with Lee’s guidance and unshakeable perseverance, the bank, like a mighty fortress, stood strong. Today, with nearly $600 million in assets, Fortress continues to be a strong, stable force in helping entrepreneurs and Midwest neighbors succeed.

About Us - Fortress Bank (2)

  • 1904 Opened for business as The State Bank of Burnside
  • 1941 Moved to LaHarpe, IL and became the State Bank of LaHarpe
  • 2008 Opened loan production office in Peoria, IL
  • 2012 Opened full service banking center in Peoria, IL
  • 2014 Opened two more loan production offices in Quad Cities and Pekin, IL
  • 2017 Renamed bank to Fortress Bank
  • 2018 Opened full-service banking center in Davenport, IA
  • 2019 Opened a loan production office in Des Moines, IA
  • Vision To be the bank of entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs
(Video) Fortress Bank hosting live 'Bank Tank' competition for small business pitches

He’s got a little street cred.

Meet Lee — horse rancher, entrepreneur, and financial wiz who knows the ups and downs and sideways of running a business. Lee owned and managed a beer distributorship, and successfully navigated it through some brutally tough times. Oh, by the way, he’s our owner and CEO. And we’re happy he’s back in the saddle leading the charge here at the Fort.

About Us - Fortress Bank (3)

(Video) Bee Gees - You Win Again

About Us - Fortress Bank (4)
(Video) What's Your Vision?


We’re soup to nuts about these businesses.


What bank is fortress? ›

First State Bank operates as a full services bank. The Bank offers financial products and services such as savings accounts, personal and business loans, debit and credit cards, letter of credit, certificate of deposits, mortgages, equipment financing, cash management, and online banking.

How big is Fortress Bank? ›

Today, with nearly $600 million in assets, Fortress continues to be a strong, stable force in helping entrepreneurs and Midwest neighbors succeed.

What is the history of Fortress Bank? ›

Fortress was founded as a private equity firm in 1998 by Wes Edens, Rob Kauffman, and Randal Nardone. When Fortress launched on the NYSE in February 2007, it was the first large private equity firm in the US to be traded publicly.

Is Fortress a real bank? ›

Founded in 1998, Fortress manages $44.2 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2023, on behalf of over 1,900 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.

Who is Fortress owned by? ›

SoftBank Group bought Fortress in 2017 for $3.3 billion. Through the acquisition, SoftBank sought to incorporate Fortress's wide-ranging investment know-how. Fortress, established in 1998, is especially strong in corporate acquisitions and real estate investment.

What is the largest private bank in the US? ›

MidFirst Bank is a privately owned financial institution based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is the largest privately owned bank in the United States, with $37.2 billion in assets.
MidFirst Bank.
TypePrivately held company
8 more rows

Where is the biggest bank in America? ›

List of largest banks in the United States
RankBank nameHeadquarters location
1JPMorgan ChaseNew York City
2Bank of AmericaCharlotte, North Carolina
3CitigroupNew York City
4Wells FargoSan Francisco
81 more rows

What is the Fortress bank for billionaires? ›

UBS, which is known as the “fortress bank for billionaires,” said that these families, with an average net worth of $1.6 billion, are moving those profits out of the stock market and into illiquid and private assets — everything from residential real estate to private equity.

What is the oldest bank company in America? ›

Future Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton founds the Bank of New York, the oldest continuously operating bank in the United States—operating today as BNY Mellon.

What is the oldest bank still in operation? ›

Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena is the oldest surviving bank in the world. It was founded in 1472 in the Tuscan city of Siena, which at the time was a republic.

What is the largest military bank? ›

With more than 12 million members, Navy Federal is the largest federally insured credit union by total assets. But unlike the largest banks, it offers competitive rates on certificates.

How many people work at Fortress? ›

Fortress Investment Group has 2,533 employees.

How big is fortress investment? ›

Overview. Fortress Investment Group LLC is a leading, highly diversified global investment manager with approximately $44.2 billion(1) of assets under management as of March 31, 2023.

What is the new name of fortress? ›

Fortress Income Fund to change name to Fortress REIT.

Who started fortress? ›

Fortress co-founder and co-chairman Wes Edens may have inadvertently summed up his firm's value last fall, on a third-quarter conference call, when he talked about the environment for Fortress's private equity business: “I think it's a time to be cautious.

What is the company fortress? ›

Fortrea: A leading global Contract Research Organization (CRO) providing Phase I-IV clinical trial management, market access and technology solutions to pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations.

What is the #1 bank in America? ›

JPMorgan Chase. Headquarters: New York, N.Y. JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the U.S., with roughly $3.20 trillion in consolidated assets.

What is the smallest bank in us? ›

With $3 million in assets, Kentland Federal Savings and Loan is definitely the smallest member of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), a trade organization for small banks.

What is the best private bank in the US? ›

JPMorgan also takes the awards for the world's best private bank for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and for investment research.

Which bank is richest in America? ›

The 15 largest banks in the US
1JPMorgan Chase$3.20 trillion
2Bank of America$2.41 trillion
3Citigroup$1.77 trillion
4Wells Fargo$1.72 trillion
11 more rows
May 1, 2023

What is the most stable bank in America? ›

5 Safest Banks in the U.S.
JP Morgan Chase$3.2 trillion
Bank of America$2.42 trillion
Citi$1.77 trillion
Wells Fargo$1.72 trillion
1 more row
May 16, 2023

Which banks are too big to fail? ›

List of Banks That Are Officially Too Big to Fail
  • JPMorgan Chase.
  • Citigroup.
  • Bank of America.
  • Wells Fargo.
  • BNY Mellon.
  • Goldman Sachs.
  • Morgan Stanley.
  • State Street.
Apr 12, 2023

Where do millionaires keep their money in banks? ›

Millionaires also have zero-balance accounts with private banks. They leave their money in cash and cash equivalents and they write checks on their zero-balance account. At the end of the business day, the private bank, as custodians of their various accounts, sells off enough liquid assets to settle up for that day.

Can you put millions in a bank? ›

Generally speaking, banks and credit unions don't impose maximum deposit limits on checking and savings. This means that there usually is not a maximum deposit amount for your checking account that you need to know. The same applies for savings accounts.

What bank does Warren Buffett own? ›

Berkshire Hathaway's Bank Of America Stake

Warren Buffett's position in Bank Of America is currently worth $27.4 Billion. That's 8.26% of their entire equity portfolio (2nd largest holding). The investor owns 12.54% of the outstanding Bank Of America stock. The first Bank Of America trade was made in Q2 2007.

Is FSNB a military bank? ›

FSNB is a member of AMBA (Association of Military Banks of America) and received Military Bank of the Year numerous times for the Air Force, Army and Marines. We have had FSNB officers on the AMBA board. We strive to keep up with the needs of military members and their families.

What bank does the US Army use? ›

Best for customer service: USAA

USAA Federal Savings Bank offers banking services to current and retired military members as well as their spouses and children.

What is Fortress Investment Group known for? ›

Founded in 1998, Fortress manages assets on behalf of over 1,900 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.

What bank do wealthy people use? ›

Bank of America, Citibank, Union Bank, and HSBC, among others, have created accounts that come with special perquisites for the ultrarich, such as personal bankers, waived fees, and the option of placing trades. The ultrarich are considered to be those with more than $30 million in assets.

Where do millionaires keep their money bank? ›

Millionaires also have zero-balance accounts with private banks. They leave their money in cash and cash equivalents and they write checks on their zero-balance account. At the end of the business day, the private bank, as custodians of their various accounts, sells off enough liquid assets to settle up for that day.

Where do billionaires keep their money bank? ›


Funds and stocks are the bread-and-butter of investment portfolios. Billionaires use these investments to ensure their money grows steadily. Billionaires typically hold onto these investments, instead of trying to time the market for a quick buck.

What bank in Fort Worth is black owned? ›

Unity National Bank, originally founded in 1963 and later chartered in 1985, is the only African-American owned banking institution in Texas.

What bank does the Navy use? ›

Similar to Navy Federal, USAA Bank is reserved for active military, former military, family and cadets and midshipmen. Active military includes those who are current serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy.

Can the army see my bank account? ›

Technically, a command investigation into alleged military misconduct could gain access to a bank account, but the Investigating Officer or “IO” would still need to go through the same judicial process as required for a law enforcement investigation: obtaining a valid warrant from a court.

What bank is better than USAA? ›

You'll earn a higher interest rate through the Navy Federal Credit Union Share Savings Account than with the USAA Savings Account. It also lets you create individual savings goals, which may be ideal if you are looking for budgeting tools. On Navy Federal Credit Union's secure site.

Why are military banks better? ›

A military bank is a financial institution that offers banking products and services specifically designed for military members, veterans and their families. Military banks usually have lower fees than traditional banks and offer special perks like free checking accounts, waived ATM fees or financial counseling.

Who is the largest investment group in the world? ›

BlackRock (BLK) is the largest investment firm in the world. It manages $8.6 trillion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2022.

How much is Fortress Income fund share? ›

The current share price of Fortress REIT Ltd B (FFB) is ZAR 5.30. FFB closed its last trading day (Friday, May 5, 2023) at 5.30 ZAR per share on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), recording a 3.9% gain over its previous closing price of 5.10 ZAR.


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4. Jamie Dimon - The Most Powerful Banker in America | Full Documentary
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