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A trend has emerged over the last decade of banking executives increasingly joining the credit union ranks. Along with that trend has come a debate over whether more former bank executives in credit unions is good or bad. In my opinion, it’s neither one of these – it just is.

The motivations of the traditional credit union leader tend to be outward centric. They have a reputation for wanting to do what’s right for members more so than their for-profit peers, who are known for chasing profits. Credit union veterans Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services President/CEO, and Jim Blaine, SECU President/CEO, tossed out names of some executives who made a successful transition from big banks to credit unions, including First Technology Federal Credit Union president/CEO Greg Mitchell, BECU president/CEO Benson Porter and Alliant Credit Union president/CEO Dave Mooney of Chicago.

Certainly Hollen and Blaine admitted bad situations have presented themselves when ex-bankers joined credit unions, and sometimes it happens even before they join – during contract negotiations. Sticker shock on the part of the boards, and unfamiliar limitations on credit union compensation packages for the ex-bankers make them wonder how credit unions can attract anyone.

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