Financially Focused on Aloha Friday

From Kona, a reminder about Aloha Fridays...
Hula dancers in Kona

Each Friday morning, I do my best to share three things I heard, watched, discussed or read.  If you’re game to share in the comment section below, I’d be really interested to read what you consider noteworthy from the week-that-was.  And before I forget, the tradition continues: Aloha Friday!

(1) Who says there’s no growth in banking? Certainly not our editor, Jack Milligan, although the lead in to his cover story in the current issue of Bank Director magazine might suggest otherwise:

If you’re not growing, you’re dying. It’s an often-used aphorism that has been attributed to such disparate sources as former college football coach Lou Holtz, the legendary Bob Dylan and a character played by the actor Morgan Freeman in “The Shawshank Redemption.” Unfortunately, it’s also a painful truth that a lot of bankers are living with nowadays as they search for growth in an environment that seems specifically designed to strangle it.

If you’re not familiar with Bank Director, the 23-year old publication reaches over 24,000 officers and directors — a community of virtually every leader in banking.  Published on a quarterly basis, the articles focus on issues fundamental to a bank’s CEO, senior leadership team, chairman and independent directors.  Think big, risky and expensive.  For the last three years, many in this audience struggled to grow their bank’s revenue and sustain a level of profitability.  However, not all are struggling to produce top line growth.  Take a read if you’re interested to learn how some banks today are building their businesses.

(2) Bank Director magazineWhile Jack’s cover article looks at four categories of non-M&A growth*, I’m afraid that our low growth economy looks like it will persist for a while longer.  Not surprisingly, some wonder if its possible to develop a sustainable, differentiable business strategy that has strong organic growth.  This is will be just one of many topics and trends addressed in New Orleans next week during our inaugural Growth Conference at the Ritz-Carlton.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the strategies and tactics banks might consider to expand their franchises’ value via twitter (@aldominick) — and know most of our team will as well. If you’re interested, let me suggest a follow of @BankDirectorAP, @BankDirectorEd, @NaomiSnyder and of course, @bankdirector.

(3) While tempted to complete the hat trick with a final point from Bank Director, I defer to Fiserv’s President and CEO Jeff Yabuki remarks as he opened their client conference last week.  In his kickoff, he asked their attendees to “re-imagine the financial experience of the future.”  While the short video is unfortunately more sales speak than suggestion, the firm does post several good related reads.  In particular, one entitled To Better Serve Small Business, Define Their Needs.  The gist?  With “profitability from retail lines of businesses under pressure, many institutions are reviewing their strategies for addressing the small business market. For regional and community institutions, which often serve communities where small businesses play an outsized role in economic development, effectively reaching small business is an imperative.”  Being that I work in a small business that interacts with numerous community banks, two thumbs up to the author and company for this perspective.

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*The four categories in Bank Director’s inaugural Growth Leaders Ranking are core income (defined as net-interest income plus non-interest income, excluding available-for-sale gains and losses and other-real-estate-owned gains and losses), core deposits, net loans and leases and core non-interest income. Of the four categories, the most important is core income since it is inclusive of the other three revenue sources.

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