The Elephant in the Room

In my opinion, the “elephant in the room” is the fact that 90% of institutions in the U.S. have less than $1Bn of assets… and that many advisers and pundits consider $2Bn to be the “magic number” a bank needs to be at or above in order to be considered viable and competitive.

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Against this backdrop, let me tee up today’s Bank Chairman/CEO Peer Exchange.  Only rarely do we limit the size of an “in-person” event; for this annual gathering, we find that small groups tend to optimize the interaction among the CEOs and Chairmen.  Essentially, the two positions that bear primary responsibility for delivering strong bottom line performance.

In a few hours, I will welcome 39 institutions to the Four Seasons — with 24 being publicly traded. The median asset size is $812M – with the biggest bank here checking in at $15.6Bn in size.  By design, we built this exclusive one and a half day event around a small number of presentations and peer exchange sessions where participants share their thoughts in a private, off-the-record setting.  For example:

  • Growth and profitability – how the top banks do it
  • Building a strong franchise
  • Perspectives on cyber security and digital issues
  • Managing risk to ensure growth
  • Compensation techniques to retain and attract new leaders and key staff

This format allows for in-depth discussions of critical, and sometimes sensitive, issues for just a bank’s CEO, Chairman and/or Lead Director to consider with their contemporaries. To kick things off this morning, we will take a look at various growth stories and strategies… and I’ll be sharing some key takeaways around that topic in the late afternoon/early evening. For more “timely” insight on trends or overarching topics, feel free to follow along on twitter where my username is @aldominick and the hashtag I’ll use is #chair14.

Bank Director Education

A simple truth: being a bank leader today demands more time, more attention and more knowledge than ever before. I’m lucky to engage with many exceptional bankers from around the country and am continually impressed with the appetite these executives and board members have for information and insight about our increasingly complex industry.
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While I’m proud of the online, in-person and on-site work of the Bank Director team, I thought to highlight a series of easy-to-access 25-minute videos we produced for banks that have a relationship with us. As you will see in this short overview, we cover important topics such as the role of the board, risk management, key audit, compensation and governance issues and advice on growing the bank.

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These videos naturally align with a one and a half day event we will host at the Hermitage Hotel (pictured above) in our company’s hometown of Nashville, TN next month.  Our Bank Board Training Forum provides directors with cutting-edge preparation for the issues and challenges facing them in today’s ever competitive, highly regulated and rapidly evolving banking and financial services industry.  While just one of seven events we host throughout the year, I’m excited to move my attention from our biggest conference — Acquire or Be Acquired — to our newest.