PART 1: Leveraging the Cooperative Model
We all have our own version of what is wrong in credit unions today. The regulated point to the regulators and the regulators point to the regulated. While we are busy pointing at each other, our chance to re-invigorate credit unions is slipping away. We are too busy living in the moment and our personal pain points to see the obvious.
What if you were put in charge of regulating all credit unions? What would you do? In this, the first of a two-part series that probes these questions, I will tell you what I would do.
Recognize the Potential of the Cooperative Model
The credit union difference is the cooperative model. If we do not exploit that difference, we risk being marginalized in the marketplace. In today’s world, financial institutions need scale to survive. When the for-profit world thinks of scale, they think of mergers. Yet mergers are time-consuming and disruptive. In the case of credit unions, too many mergers also mean less political clout and eventual loss of a separate regulator.
The cooperative model enables credit unions to work together to obtain scale without the need to sacrifice the identity and unique market position of each of the participating credit unions. Scale through a collaborative model is more efficient and less disruptive to employees and members than scale through mergers.
Patrick Connealy at the 2016 NACUSO Network Conference
Each month we highlight at least one NACUSO member by interviewing one of their top executives. It’s an opportunity to tell their story in a casual and fun way. This month we sat down with Patrick Connealy.
PART ONE: Life Story and Experiences
What’s your current position and can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?
I’m the Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking for the National Cooperative Bank and I oversee nine Business Development officers that cover a variety of cooperative business segments nationwide.
What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? What are you most excited or passionate about?
I’ve been working with co-ops my whole life and have been with NCB for 30 years. I started my career in the agriculture co-op banking business and spent seven years with them including three years with the Farm Credit Administration. I moved to NCB in 1986 when the bank was six years old. We fill the financing gap for co-ops that are not agricultural or electric co-ops. I am most passionate about the long term customer relationships developed by NCB- some of which have been with us since 1980!
Kirk Kordeleski kicks off Partner Connection Session
The challenge for credit union leaders who want to explore CUSOs and partnerships seems to be twofold: how to find and connect with partners who have similar challenges, needs and wants; and, how to evaluate their potential collaborations and develop the data and business plans and get them in front of the decision makers, in a quick enough process, so they know what the advantages are, the timeline and what they will need to invest. Recognizing these challenges we added Partner connection sessions to this year’s agenda. (more…)
NACUSO once again recognized excellence in collaboration with the CUSO of the Year award and the Credit Union Collaboration & Innovation awards. These awards are designed to highlight the important role CUSOs play in helping credit unions effectively and efficiently serve their members.
Steve Salzer, SVP of PSCU
The 2016 CUSO of the Year Award winner is PSCU. The award was accepted by Steve Salzer, Senior Vice President of PSCU. Founded in 1977, PSCU has been a leading provider of traditional and online financial services to credit unions. Today they serve over 800 credit unions making them one of the leaders in the CUSO space.
Rick Leander, President, Allegacy Business Systems
The 2016 Credit Union Collaboration and Innovation Award winner is Allegacy Federal Credit Union. Accepting the award was Rick Leander, President/Managing Director of Allegacy Business Systems with offers insurance, payroll, consulting and media services to small businesses.
William Arnold, CEO of Member Support Services
NACUSO added a new award this year, recognizing that it takes time for CUSOs to show significant results but new CUSO business models are worthy of recognition. One such CUSO was awarded the New CUSO of the Year Award – Member Support Services. CEO Bill Arnold was on hand to accept the award. Member Support Services was formed by three New Jersey credit unions to achieve economies of scale and lower costs to better serve their members.
L to R: (Einstein), Matt Davis, Ray Crouse, Ned May and Sarah Canepa Bang
Our 4th annual competition received a record number of applications. So many we expanded the field to 6 contestants. Each entrant was given 7 minutes on the main stage to present to a live audience and our esteemed judges. This is the CUSO version of Shark Tank. This year’s “shark” was a real Private Equity/Venture Capitalist, Ned May, Partner, Napier Park Global Capital. Sarah Canepa Bang, EVP Corporate Relations, CO-OP Financial Services, Ray Crouse, President/CEO of Parsons Federal Credit Union and Matt Davis Founder of gameFI rounded out the judges table. (more…)
Over 400 credit union innovators and collaborators met at the Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, April 4th – 7th for the 2016 NACUSO Network conference. Network being the central theme, this year we welcomed attendees with the “network lounge” experience with over 40 exhibitors, fabulous food and adult beverages to kick off the event.
Recognizing that CUSOs come in many shapes and sizes we try to cover the majority of disciplines by bringing in industry leaders. This year’s topics included investment, insurance and mortgage services as well as member business lending, operations and technology. The debut of Partner Connection Sessions was a hit as over 100 credit unions attended (more…)
LAS VEGAS — CUSOs here got an overview of more than a dozen regulatory and legal issues to which they were told to be paying attention.
In remarks to the NACUSO annual conference here, Brian Lauer of the law firm Messick & Lauer, noted the changes to which CUSOs are being subjected are numerous, but nearly all also include opportunities. Among the issues credit unions and CUSOs should be watching, said Lauer, are NCUA’s FOM proposal, associational common bonds, the final fixed asset rule, regulatory appeals, the final risk-based capital rule, cybersecurity, the CECL proposal, the GAO report on consolidation of regulators, network credit unions, small entity reg relief, and legal opinions (NCUA opinion letters have declined—just six in last two years (and two of those written in response to former ABA exec Keith Leggett). (more…)
Jim Stickley talks about the new “F” word – fraud
LAS VEGAS–Your credit union may have invested heavily in data security, yet thanks to your employees and even your own professional networking, breaching that data remains as easy as ever.
Just ask Jim Stickley, who can offer real-world example after example of how simple phishing scams can fool CU employees from senior management to the IT department.
Stickley, the security expert who heads Stickley on Security and who is often hired to hack into credit unions and other institutions using a number of often simple (yet ingenious) strategies, said the reasons for the onslaught of cyber-attacks on credit unions are simple. And often those strategies are based on using a credit union’s own security training against it.
“Everybody is doing hacking: organized crime, foreign governments. There are huge opportunities for money, and the risks are really, really, really low,” said Stickley in remarks themed “Fraud: The New F Word” at NACUSO’s annual meeting.