Cards, Mergers and Finding the Talent to Keep You Running

CUES managing editor and publisher Theresa Witham
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

3 minutes

From the editor

I’m probably not supposed to have favorite issues of CU Management, but this month is definitely in my top 10. Not only do I love the beautiful cover, but the content within these pages is especially strong. 

We’ve been talking about how credit unions can make their cards top of wallet for years. But our cover story in this issue dives into some new ways to make your card program stand out. After all, credit unions need to make sure their cards—whether eco-friendly, non-plastic ones or with “buy now, pay later” options—are pulled out first if they are to keep up with the big payments players. Read more in “Is Your Card Top of Wallet?

While you are competing with other financial institutions for your members’ card business, you are also competing with those same institutions, plus many more organizations, for the talent that keeps your CU running. When the pandemic started in 2020, we were in a job seeker’s market. Now, as North America re-opens, we find ourselves back in the same position—that is, with too many open positions to fill.

Employers will have to act fast to scoop up top talent, says Bill Borkovitz, partner at CUES Supplier member JM Search, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. “There is absolutely a shortage of talent at the executive level,” he says. “That brings a level of competition. We’re seeing multiple offers for candidates, so being able to move quickly is paramount. The need for talent, especially around technology and areas of growth, has never been stronger.” 

If you have open jobs to fill, turn to “The Reinvention of Executive Search.”

A lack of talent at the top is a common reason for credit unions to explore merging. “It’s not the technology that will get you; it’s the people,” says Stephen G. Morrissette, president of Providence Advisors, Chicago, and a visiting professor of business administration at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

“You need a minimum number of players to field a team,” he says. “If you can’t afford a qualified chief credit officer and the necessary compliance and technology experts, it will be hard to survive. You need economies of skill, not necessarily economies of scale.”

After a pandemic pause, merger activity is picking up again. “2020 changed the landscape,” says David Ritter, managing director of CUES Supplier member ALM First, Dallas. “2021 will be exciting, and 2022 is likely to be a banner year for CU mergers.” Read more in “Switching Back to Offense,” including two sidebars about what credit unions that wish to avoid merging can do. 

P.S. With this issue, we are conducting an advertising impact survey. Please be on the lookout for emails from CU Management via Readex Research. By participating, you will be providing important feedback to our advertisers, which ultimately helps us provide you with the strong content for which we are known. If you have any questions about this survey, please reach out via email or phone. cues icon

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