Bill Cooper To Retire as TCF’s CEO

Bill Cooper To Retire as TCF’s CEO

Current president Craig Dahl will take over the CEO role at TCF on January 1, 2016.

TCF Financial Corp. president and vice chairman Craig Dahl will take over the CEO chair at the start of 2016, the company said on Monday. Current CEO Bill Cooper will be stepping down for the second time at TCF, although he will remain chairman through 2017.

Cooper, 71, became CEO of Wayzata-based TCF in 1985 (back when it was known as Twin City Federal) after serving four years in the Detroit police force followed by executive posts at Michigan and Ohio banks. He left his leadership role at the end of 2005, but returned to the CEO chair three years later to manage the bank through the Great Recession.

Under Cooper’s wing, TCF is now the state’s third-largest bank with nearly $20 million in assets and 376 branches spread between eight states. Cooper was a key component to the introduction of TCF’s “Totally Free Checking” accounts, which drew in thousands of new customers. He also reduced the number of troubled loans (more than $1 billion in 1985) and led the company through its public offering.

“I have been fortunate to work closely with Bill throughout my 16 years at TCF and have learned much through his leadership,” said Dahl in a statement. “Over the past several years, we have built a superior management team and made great progress in positioning TCF for the new banking environment.”

Dahl, an International Falls native, joined TCF as president and chief executive officer of TCF Equipment Finance, Inc. in 1999. Eventually, Dahl entered the role of vice chairman of TCF in 2012 and was promoted to president in late March of this year.

In a statement, Cooper said, “I believe that Craig is the right person to lead TCF going forward. He has been a vital part of TCF’s successes during his tenure, especially the transformation of the company that has taken place over the past several years.”

In 2011, Cooper was honored in TCB’s Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. The next year, he also shared with TCB his story of transitioning from a working-class kid from Detroit to building TCF into a household name.