BNCCorp in Bismarck, N.D., has appointed an interim leader after the death of Gregory Cleveland.

Cleveland, the $798 million-asset company's chief executive, died Tuesday after a sudden illness. He was 65.

BNC's board appointed Timothy Franz, the company's chief financial officer, as interim president and CEO. Cleveland's death was unexpected; he was quoted in BNC's second-quarter earnings release issued Wednesday morning.

Cleveland co-founded the company with Tracy Scott, BNC's chairman, in 1987 and had since served as an executive and a director. He became the company's president in March 1995 and CEO in November 2000. At other times, he had been BNC's CFO and chief operating officer.

"Greg Cleveland co-founded BNC with me, and infused the company with deeply-held values of integrity, a strong sense of right and wrong, great compassion and loyalty, and a solid commitment to family and community," Scott said in a press release. "He was a trusted colleague, a successful entrepreneur, and an example of what is best in American business. Greg had the vision to establish BNC and the steady hand to guide the bank through good and bad times. He will be greatly missed."

Franz, 55, has been the company's CFO since 2006. Franz is a former KPMG partner who focused on the financial services industry, serving Wells Fargo (WFC), TCF Bank (TCB) and several community banks.

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