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I would like to elaborate on Credit Union Times’ current online voting poll question inquiring into the effects of bankers becoming credit union CEOs. There are many important reasons why credit unions are selecting ex-bankers as their CEOs, and the net result will be positive for the credit union industry. It is clear this trend will continue, and here are some reasons why: * Bankers have years of in-depth experience with business loans, where most credit unions do not. * Bankers have more experience in buying and selling loan participations. * Credit unions rarely established “wealth management” units to address the upscale clientele; banks have had trust departments and private banking groups for many years. As credit unions expand into wealthy suburbs, and their membership ages, there is more opportunity for credit union penetration into this lucrative market segment. * Banks have traditionally spent more than most credit unions on management training programs and post-graduate executive training at major universities. * There are many more MBAs employed in banking than in credit unions. Many credit union boards specify an MBA in their hiring criteria for a new CEO. * Banks have traditionally utilized more sophisticated asset/liability/management strategies and programs. Credit unions often wish to acquire that expertise. * Bankers are used to dealing with loan-to-deposit ratios well above 70%; most credit unions are just now approaching that threshold. * Banks have historically achieved higher return-on-assets and higher net interest margins than credit unions. As credit unions seek better returns, they will opt to hire this expertise. * Large banks have more branches; expansion-oriented credit unions desire these additional branch management skills and sales orientation. In addition to the CEO position, many credit unions are also hiring ex-bankers for their other senior management positions, such as the senior vice president of operations or lending. The consolidation of large banks has resulted in more senior experienced bankers becoming available for key positions in credit unions. Jerry Goldstein Independent credit union consultant St. Louis, Mo.

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