In May 2015, we hosted our annual CEO & Executive Conference in San Diego. We had a large, diverse group of CEOs and executives from credit unions and banks across the country. It was a good mix of both first-time attendees and meeting veterans who weren’t shy about sharing ideas and asking questions of the group! 

Attendees will recall our key takeaways, but for the benefit of those not able to attend the meeting, here is a summary:

1. Consider a “less is more” strategy

Citadel Federal Credit Union’s CEO Jeff March and Investment Program Manager Jim McCrudden reviewed the path their investment program has followed as they’ve embraced a “less is more” strategy – resulting in increased revenue. In building a tiered system to develop registered sales assistants, wealth associates, financial advisors and wealth advisors, they have divided and distributed books of business so that each team member is able to serve fewer clients more deeply. The result is better service to members and higher productivity per advisor. 

Also of note: When working with credit union management, Jim McCrudden asks them to focus on gathering new investment dollars rather than individual member referrals to advisors. In contrast, when talking to branch “line” staff, he asks them to focus on the individual referral of members to his advisors. “The more you can get the entire team involved, the better off you’ll be,” he says. 

2. Use “big data” to market investment services

Wescom Credit Union’s Executive Vice President Keith Pipes and Wescom Financial Services’ President Connie Knox discussed their strategy of using credit union and investment program “big data” to better market investment services to those customers who most need and want support. As part of their process, representatives get a list of 50 members a week to follow up with, and they incentivize prospective customers via email to set up new meetings with them. They also build awareness of investment services through ads on bill pay and other places on their website. The goal is to gain wallet share of “outside” money that is invested elsewhere.

CFS and SPF have the support and data mining capabilities to partner with your bank/credit union to support your similar initiatives. Remember that 10 percent growth in new investors with greater than $100,000 can result in 20-50 percent growth in AUM for your program in just one year! Contact our Program Development team for more information.

3. Expand your service to business owners via various insurance strategies and products 

Understanding the client’s complete financial picture, identifying their unmet needs and delivering the best products results in growth of the client’s assets and revenue. It also increases customer loyalty and retention. CFS/SPF insurance specialist Brett Harner presented examples and recommended ways financial institutions can provide business services, Medicare solutions, and client direct insurance solutions to business owners. 

4. Review your definition of a leader – how can you help develop your staff?

Keynote speaker Brig. Gen. (ret) Tom Kolditz helped the room of executives better understand the importance of developing leaders within their organizations. He suggested reviewing current staff roles to identify potential learning opportunities and then creating a self-directed leader development plan that integrates planned experiences with development goals. The leader development plan must be a written—but fluid!—document that includes annual, professional and personal aspirations. Sketch out a support plan, too, involving professional coaching sessions and at least one peer coaching relationship. 

5. Familiarize yourself with CFS and SPF’s tools & services

We have a wide variety of tools and services available to support growing our clients’ investment programs. For more information, contact our program development team (West: Deanne Laurvick, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; East: Stephanie Cox This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 

Make sure to attend this summer’s CFS & SPF 2015 Annual Conference from July 26-29 in San Diego which will feature more speakers, two educational tracks – executive and advisor – as well as breakout sessions, networking and much more!