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Bank, focused on climate issues, names pair of executives

Edmund O’Carroll and Brian Kruse join values-based bank ahead of its scheduled Spring opening.

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  • | 11:00 a.m. March 10, 2021
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Ken LaRoe, founder and CEO of Climate First Bank.
Ken LaRoe, founder and CEO of Climate First Bank.
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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ST. PETERSBURG — Climate First Bank, a values-based community bank focusing on environmental sustainability that plans to debut in St. Petersburg this spring, has named a pair of banking veterans to help lead the nascent financial institution.

Edmund O’Carroll will work as the bank’s executive vice president and senior loan officer, while Brian Kruse will be a vice president, its first branch manager and small business lender, according to a statement. 

Prior to joining Climate First, O’Carroll worked in leadership roles at Florida Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Gulf Shore Bank and Seacoast Bank. At Climate First, O’Carroll will underwrite commercial and consumer loans as well as specialized green loans and financing options, the bank says.

O’Carroll also is a Tampa resident and founder of EROC Advisors LLC.

Kruse is a St. Petersburg resident with more than two decades of financial sector experience.

“I believe in Climate First Bank’s mission to address and reverse climate issues. We need to work together to get the planet back where it needs to be,” Kruse says in the statement.

“I’m especially excited to go back to my community banking roots and work hand in hand with the residents of St. Pete.”

Ken LaRoe, founder and CEO of Climate First, says Kruse and O’Carroll are both passionate about the bank’s mission and proven financial professionals “with world-class track records.”

The bank, which is being formally organized now, has raised $23 million thus far toward its operations. It bills itself as the “nation’s first environmentally conscious bank” with a “mission is to support communities and local businesses while also moving the needle to reverse the current climate crisis” by encouraging green infrastructure and promoting sustainable business practices.

Climate First pledges that its branches will be carbon neutral and retrofitted to the “highest sustainability standards in LEED, Green Globes and Energy Star.”



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