A guide for executives who are new to the CU industry
Credit unions were built on homegrown leadership, which provided opportunities for tellers and back-office specialists to work their way up through the supervisory and management ranks to executive positions. In recent decades, however, some credit unions have begun recruiting leadership talent beyond their own ranks and even outside the movement and some have welcomed seasoned executives from the broader financial services industry and other business sectors.
This guide begins with a brief history of the financial cooperative movement in North America, a sketch of its legal foundation both in the U.S. and Canada, and an overview of the big-picture challenges and opportunities before the industry.
Then, executives who have joined credit unions from banks and other business sectors share their perspectives on the differences and similarities between their current and previous business landscapes.
Rounding out this guide are recommendations on easing this transition, especially for credit union newcomers who are moving into new leadership positions, and views on what executives who’ve joined credit unions bring with them—and what they’ve gained from making the switch.
Finally, our key terms section defines and explains many of the credit union and financial services industry terms that you’ll need to know as you embark on your new career.