U.S. Central and the NCUA have retained the services of Prairie Village, Kan.-based Michael Shirley Associates; and, according to a representative for the firm, the regulator expects the institution to survive corporate restructuring.
Partner Dan Heiman said U.S. Central is strongly considering an internal candidate, Interim CEO Francois Henriquez, but wanted to expand the search nationally to bring in a few more.
Heiman said his firm, which specializes in financial services, was aware of U.S. Central's financial problems, and asked the NCUA what their plans for U.S. Central were before agreeing to the deal.
"They said look, we're paying a firm to do a search, so hopefully that tells you something," he said of the NCUA.
While U.S. Central will "clearly be different in the future," Heiman said the NCUA thinks the franchise has value. He said he was told former U.S. Central CEO Jim Nance was fired because "he was trying to take (U.S. Central) down, as opposed to building it up, and (NCUA) were concerned because that was a direction they didn't want to go."
Heiman said his firm had worked with U.S. Central in the past, and maintained the contact so that when the wholesale corporate needed a hiring resource, "we were already there."