The Daily Dividend: FMS Education

News, notes and insights from around the industry

MAY 25, 2017
The Road to Vegas, Part X: Dealing with Disruption
By Hilary Collins, Assistant, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

The Road to Vegas is getting shorter – with roughly one month to go until the FMS Forum, we reached out to Joe Sullivan, President and CEO of Market Insights, to get some of his thoughts on the state of retail banking:

FMS: What are some of the big disruptors you’ve been seeing in the industry?

JS: The disruptors themselves are things like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and P2P payment systems like Venmo and Paypal. Technology is controlling the flow of money. Whether people are paying, sending money to another country or getting robo-advice, the common denominator is how technology is changing the way money flows between businesses and between individual people. Blockchain and P2P are ways to do that, and artificial intelligence is another layer of that technology and knowledge – those are the main disruptors that are removing banks from the equation.

FMS: What can institutions do to predict disruptions and changes, and how can they best address them?

JS: Quit trying to predict the changes – that’s not where you need to spend your time. Instead, you should be asking ‘what are we doing to position our bank or credit union to compete in a climate where new types of competitors are working nonstop, and where the consumer is the one with all the power?’ To survive and successfully navigate disruption, you’ve got to pay attention to the Three A’s:

Alignment with the marketplace means understanding the needs of your customers, understanding the products, technology and trends in your marketplace and understanding what you need to be doing.

Agility is the ability to think and act quickly, but it’s a function of strategic responsiveness to the marketplace, and having the organizational bandwidth to make things happen. Banks and credit unions need to make decisions faster, and they need to use better data to do so. 

Adaptability is changing everything we’re doing – from our physical branches to our culture to our processes to our people – to be in sync with the rest of the world. For instance, how quickly can people open an account on a mobile device? Or can they do it at all – do they still have to go into a branch? 

All Apple or Google or any of those places have done is simply take the pain out of the customer journey.
So don’t predict – take action with the Three A’s.

FMS: What are some of the biggest mistakes community institutions are making in terms of assessing their retail delivery channels, and how can they fix these?

JS: There are a few mistakes that come to mind:

Making decisions without getting data, and not aligning your decisions to the needs of your marketplace.
Obsessing over the branch of the future. There’s no doubt that institutions need to adapt the physical space and the branch format for a more customer-friendly experience, but the branch of the future is just a buzzword and I’m sick to death of hearing about it.
Random execution – be it ITM, universal bankers, cash recyclers or branch remodels. Instead, you should start by asking yourself where on the continuum of self-service to full-service a particular branch needs to be, given the demographics of the market and given the potential that’s out there.
Copycat transformation. An institution sees the bank down the street doing something and they want to do it too. But you shouldn’t put an ITM in a market where the customers are technophobic, for example.

There is no magic bullet for community banks or credit unions. The important thing is to do your homework on the marketplace, understand the ability of your organization and be willing to adapt and create as part of your culture. 

Tap into more of Joe’s insight during his session “Top Trends Shaping Retail Banking” at the FMS Forum this June in Las Vegas. Register now!

MAY 18, 2017
The Road to Vegas, Part IX: Temperatures Are Rising, and So Are Rates
By Hilary Collins, Assistant, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

The excitement around our upcoming FMS Forum in Vegas is heating up, and so is the interest rate environment. In fact, if you’re looking to tap into the mind of an expert to find out what your institution should be doing about rising rates, the Forum is your chance!

In our Tuesday morning general session, veteran industry educator James Johannes from the Puelicher Center for Banking Education and the University of Wisconsin in Madison will be addressing “The Economics and Politics of Rising Rates.” Jim is a widely published thought leader who will undoubtedly have plenty of thoughts to share about the current environment, so come prepared to learn a lot about what it all means for the balance sheets of community institutions.

This is just one of dozens of great education session scheduled for next month in the desert, so be sure to register for the FMS Forum today!

Catch up with the rest of the Road to Vegas series: Part I // Part II // Part III // Part IV // Part V // Part VI // Part VII // Part VIII

MAY 16, 2017
Beach Reading
By Mark Loehrke, Editor, Financial Managers Society

With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, beach season can’t be far behind – which means it’s time to get serious about both that juice diet and your summer reading list. We can’t do much to help you out with the first one, but over the coming weeks and months we’ll do our best with the second. 

This summer, take a pass on the Patterson and forgo the Follett in favor of some insightful industry analysis – be on the lookout for more articles covering topics near and dear to your institution in our Perspectives section. First up is a new piece from Elise Hauser of Sageworks on the value of a solid risk-rating system.

Happy reading!

MAY 11, 2017
The Road to Vegas, Part VIII: Sizing Up CECL
By Hilary Collins, Assistant, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

If you don’t feel quite prepared for the various and sundry challenges surrounding CECL, you’re not alone. That’s why you won’t want to miss the FMS Forum next month in Las Vegas, where you’ll find plenty of expert insight on best practices and the latest methodologies.

Start with two great educational sessions on CECL on tap at the Forum. In “CECL Data Points: What You Need to Get Started,” Chad Kellar of Crowe Horwath LLP will provide essential guidance on the data your institution will need, as well as insights on new calculation methods. Elsewhere, Debbie Scanlon and Gordon Dobner of BKD, LLP will offer advice on modeling and methodologies in their session “CECL: Where Do We Go From Here?”

For even more in-depth guidance, CECL expert Mike Umscheid will be leading the post-conference seminar Sleepless Nights: Understanding Methods and Methodologies for CECL. Mike’s two-day session immediately following the Forum on June 28-29 promises a deeper dive into the new standard, covering the most recent updates, the newest data collection methods and much more. (Additional advance registration is required.)

CECL is coming – are you ready? Register now!

Catch up with the rest of the Road to Vegas series: Part I // Part II // Part III // Part IV // Part V // Part VI // Part VII

MAY 10, 2017
An Appreciation
By Autumn Wolfer, Director, Marketing and Membership, Financial Managers Society

The calendar on your wall may not note it, but this is Member Appreciation Month at FMS! The party is happening on FMS Connect, where we’re showering our members with gratitude for almost 70 wonderful years. 

Happy Birthday, Connect! 
Our peer networking portal celebrates its third birthday during Member Appreciation Month. Did you know there are nearly 1,300 FMS Connect users sharing advice, information and stories from the field?

Love Fest
What do members love about FMS? Longtime member and frequent Connect contributor Laurie Grabow loves our education. “The greatest benefit of my membership is high-quality training related to the job functions of CFOs,” says the EVP and CFO of Old Point National Bank.

From the Chair
John Westwood isn’t just the chairman of FMS, he’s also a veteran member and a big fan of the FMS Forum: “The Forum is terrific in blending networking with a comprehensive education program,” he says.

But enough about us – this month is about YOU. The FMS community wouldn’t be the success that it is without the continued support and engagement of our members. So visit FMS Connect today for Member Appreciation Month contests, giveaways and more! (Not a member? Join today!)
MAY 9, 2017
FMS Webinar: The Leadership Effectiveness Loop
By Hilary Collins, Assistant, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

FMS logoDo you know if you’re getting a fair price in your vendor relationships? From industry opacity to non-disclosure agreements, there are plenty of unknowns that keep community institutions in the dark – and often stick them with higher bills.

Prepare for your next negotiation with our upcoming webinar Drawing Back the Curtain on Vendor Pricing Sheets on Tuesday, May 23,  as Terence Roche, co-founder and principal at Cornerstone Advisors, covers current spending trends in tech and payments, pricing secrets in the market, negotiation tips and much more. 

As usual, this great session is complimentary for FMS members, so be sure to register and join us in two weeks. (Not a member? Join today!)
MAY 4, 2017
The Road to Vegas, Part VII: Down in the Canyon
By Hilary Collins, Assistant, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

There will be a lot to learn at the FMS Forum in Las Vegas: our educational sessions will cover everything from millennials and intergenerational leadership, to using incentives to spur profitability

But what’s a trip to Vegas without taking the time enjoy the unique and wild beauty of Nevada desert? We’ve got you covered with a trip into Red Rock Canyon.

Spend the morning of Sunday, June 25th marveling at the Wilson Cliffs, towering over 3,000 feet tall and marked with ancient pictographs. Explore the Spring Mountain Range, where you might come across their namesake springs that nourish a dazzling ecosystem. And visit the Red Rock Overlook to see the beautiful and dramatic panoramas from above.

Don’t miss the chance to explore this one-of-a-kind landscape – and to learn and network with peers from all across the industry – next month at the FMS Forum. Register now! (Additional registration required for the canyon tour.)


Mark Loehrke
Editor and Director, Publications and Research

Danielle Holland

Autumn Wolfer
Director, Membership and Marketing

Hilary Collins
Assistant, Publications and Research