Do We Care About Leadership?

April 15, 2012 | Uncategorized

On a recent plane ride I sat next to the Commander of the NCO Academy at Fort Jackson, South Carolina (see picture from one of last year’s classes). He is a reservist, and had interesting perspectives on how the military operates versus private industry. In his “real life”, he is a sales manager for a […]

Guest Post: First Quarter Economic Update by Dorothy Jaworski

April 5, 2012 | Uncategorized

The Fed Goes Too Far First, let me say, we owe the Federal Reserve our gratitude. Their actions to ease in many ways during and after the financial crisis averted financial meltdown and produced results in an economy that is regaining its footing, albeit at a “frustratingly slow” pace. The Fed lowered the Fed Funds […]

What is it about Midwest Financial Institutions?

March 24, 2012 | Uncategorized

SNL Financial LP does an annual ranking of best performing banks using six core financial performance metrics that focus on profitability, asset quality and growth for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 2011. SNL measured each company’s standard deviation from the mean of each metric. The standard deviations, which were each equally weighted, were then […]

Vblog: The Benefits of Niche Profit Reporting with David Acevedo

March 20, 2012 | Uncategorized

I regularly attend industry conferences and occasionally will particpate as an exhibitor. One of the benefits of spending long hours in the exhibit hall is to take advantage of the industry expertise plainly evident as you roam the aisles. Today a financial institution CFO asked what we thought about measuring the profitability of certain niches, […]

Bank Cost Structures: Mostly Fixed

March 10, 2012 | Uncategorized

I recently taught Bank Profitability to a Washington Bankers’ school. As part of the curriculum, we discussed the cost structure of financial institutions and how it impacts decision making. True to the subject, we discussed using product profitability data to make decisions. For example, if a product is unprofitable, should we make changes to it or […]

Job Description: Branch Manager

March 4, 2012 | Uncategorized

I frequently hear lamentations about the gap between the performance expectations of community financial institution (FI) personnel and performance results. A frequent challenge is that performance expectations are not documented in the form of job descriptions. Instead, expectations are often trapped between the ears of the supervisor or senior management. This post is geared toward drafting a […]

Common Misperceptions: Community Banks are Beating the Behemoths

February 19, 2012 | Uncategorized

My firm constantly evaluates industry trends and happenings to formulate what we term our Industry Overview. Although a constant process involving hypothesis, research, and re-evaluation, we center our thinking annually to ensure we properly debate, debunk, and determine where our industry is moving. As part of the process, our staff does a lot of research. […]

Best Book Ever on Word of Mouth and Direct Mail Marketing

February 11, 2012 | Uncategorized

I hope the title of this post compelled you to read its contents. If so, I suppose you are expecting me to offer my opinion on the most recent thought leadership on word-of-mouth and direct mail marketing. But I will not. Instead, I will offer you my opinion on a book whose author is not […]

Bank Super Bowl Ads 2012

February 5, 2012 | Uncategorized

First, check out this creative yet sleepy First Bank ad. If you need to go to the bathroom, feel free to do so: Amarillo National Bank puts their CSRs through a workout. This, my friends, is a training program: E*Trade, the gold standard for Super Bowl bank ads… speed dating. Awesome: Would my marketing readers, […]

Let’s retake the mortgage market!

January 28, 2012 | Uncategorized

Community financial institutions are grappling with the recent and pending mortgage rules. We fear the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) and government’s tendency to fire a bazooka at an ant, causing tremendous collateral damage. New rules aside, we were not that significant in the mortgage market anyway. Aggressive mortgage brokers hawking products and programs from […]