C.U. on the ShowNov 21, 2023
How Credit Unions Can Leverage Existing Real Estate to Secure Immediate Capital
With funding pressures and the high rate of deposits across credit unions, leaders must find creative ways to generate capital. Credit unions need capital to maintain good financial standing and pursue long-term strategic plans, such as acquiring another financial institution, undergoing a digital transformation, and more.
In this episode, Doug is joined by returning guest Bill Paton, vice president of lending, loan participations, and subordinated debt at Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, and Patrick Roberts, chief revenue officer at MountainSeed. They discuss their new sale-leaseback partnership, which offers a non-dilutive solution that can help credit unions generate immediate capital by leveraging existing real estate assets.
Stream the episode to learn how credit unions can unlock hidden capital and potential within their branches with a sale-leaseback, the benefits of these transactions, and when credit unions should consider the option.
Year-End Tax Strategies for Credit Union Executives
As we approach year-end, there are several tax-optimization strategies credit union executives and recent retirees may consider based on their current financial situation. Credit union leaders often have complex compensation and retirement benefit packages that lend themselves to creative solutions that may help them save more money or manage their tax liability.
Wes Johnson, CFP® professional and ACT Advisors partner and financial planner, joins Doug to discuss these strategies and offer insights to inspire and support credit union executives at any stage.
Stream the episode to learn more.
How Curql Brings Fintech Solutions to Credit Unions
Credit unions are joining forces in the first-of-its-kind strategic investment fund, Curql. This innovative fund helps credit unions partner with and invest in fintech that will help drive the credit union movement forward, effectively competing with larger financial institutions that have unlimited research and development dollars.
Guest Brian Lauer is the general counsel of the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) and partner with the law firm Messick Lauer & Smith P.C. For over 10 years, he has helped credit unions better serve their members and provide innovative products and services through credit union service organizations (CUSOs). He’s advancing those efforts with Curql, which combines credit union partners’ investments into fintech designed specifically for credit unions to deliver vetted solutions more efficiently.
Learn more about how the innovative ideas in this fund are reshaping the movement and paving the way for a more vibrant and customer-centric financial ecosystem.
How Credit Unions Can Create First-App Status Using Data, Generative AI
In recent years, credit unions have made significant strides in enhancing their digital banking platforms and addressing challenges posed by the pandemic, such as high deposit rates. However, today credit unions are facing a new focal point—data—which the 2023 Strategy Priorities Benchmark Survey conducted by Jack Henry & Associates® explores. Survey respondents, including credit union and bank CEOs, provided insights into their future focus areas, which helps financial institutions understand where the industry is today, where it’s going, and how it’s driving bold strategic initiatives, which Doug discusses with guest Lee Wetherington.
To gain deeper insights into how credit unions can elevate their members' experience and uphold the core principle of "people helping people," Lee delves into actionable strategies, such as harnessing the potential of generative artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology and establishing a "first-app" status among members.
Stream the show to learn more and why he predicts credit unions will be able to jump on board faster than expected.
How Credit Unions Can Use Data to Maximize Margin and Mission
Passionate about cooperatives that focus on mission, our guest, Sam Brownell, CEO and founder of CUCollaborate, wants to help credit unions become the primary financial partner of every American. He hopes to achieve that through a new data consortium, AnalyzeCU, which credit unions can leverage to gain new insights, compete with big banks, and deliver more value.
Sam discusses the platform, features such as customizable reporting, and how credit unions can balance profitability and their mission while capturing more net-new members.
Stream the episode to learn more about how to participate and benefit from AnalyzeCU and leverage valuable data to strengthen the credit union movement.
Unique Opportunity SECURE Act 2.0 Offers Credit Union Executives
Last year, ACT Advisors released its white paper, The 125% Credit Union Executive, which described how credit union leaders could unlock up to 25% more in assets from their executive benefits by applying optimized executive financial strategies. In late 2022, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act 2.0 was passed, including provisions that offer credit union executives additional opportunities to gain even more value from their benefits.
In this episode of “C.U. on the Show,” ACT Advisors Operations Manager Nicolette Speziale, CFP® takes over as host to interview ACT Advisors founder Doug English, CFP® and partner Wes Johnson, CFP® about the changes, their unique implications, and what credit union executives should consider in their wealth management strategy before and after retirement.
Stream the episode to hear about the provision that can provide even more value—up to 40%—to credit union leaders and the strategies Doug and Wes recommend to reach the full potential of your executive benefits package.
How Liquidity Can Help Credit Unions Manage Risks & Stay Nimble
With a rising interest rate environment, inflationary pressures, and increasing loan-to-share ratios, credit unions must find ways to mitigate risks to their balance sheet, and liquidity is an integral component.
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Rodney Hood joins the podcast to discuss how establishing various lines of capital can help credit unions manage an emergency, bolster net worth, make strategic investments, and practice good balance sheet management.
Stream the episode to hear about the recent Capital Markets Symposium hosted by Hood on Wall Street, the various liquidity sources and tools available to credit unions, and the goals of the newly established Office of Innovation and Access at the NCUA.
How Bold Leadership Can Accelerate the Credit Union Movement
As credit unions continue to celebrate Leadership Month, Doug welcomes three credit union advocates in the fintech space who believe leaders should get comfortable taking risks, innovating, and making bold strategic decisions if the credit union movement is to stay competitive—and survive. The conversation invites listeners to embrace bold leadership and ask hard questions about how credit unions will remain relevant in a rapidly changing technological landscape.
Doug is joined by:
Omar Jordan, founder and CEO of Coviance, a fintech that’s improving the home equity and HELOC lending experience
Kristopher Kovacs, president and CEO of Constellation Digital Partners, Inc., which gives credit unions access to the latest innovations from fintechs and fintechs access to credit union decision-makers
Jeff Kline, president and CEO of Members Development Company, a credit union network that connects industry leaders, pools resources for research and development, and identifies strategic products and services
Stream the episode to learn how to build a foundation of bold leadership at your credit union and what the industry's future may look like without it.
Lessons in Leadership with NAFCU CEO Dan Berger
As part of Leadership Month, Doug was thrilled to welcome NAFCU CEO Dan Berger to the show to discuss leadership and how it applies universally and specifically to the credit union movement. With over 17 years of experience at NAFCU, 10 of which as CEO, Dan shared how he continually hones his skills in relationship building, communication, and strategic alignment.
Stream the episode to hear his valuable insights, what he wishes other leaders knew, and his tips for staying on track with your mission and goals. For Dan, it starts with your people.
How Salary Insights Can Empower Credit Unions and Executives
How can credit union boards build more effective executive recruitment and retention packages? On the show, Doug is joined by representatives from CUES and Industry Insights to discuss how the annual CUES Executive Compensation Survey can help empower board members and executives with benchmark data to reach more effective and fair salary agreements.
Learn more about how the survey can help streamline salary conversations and the tools, access, and insights credit unions and executives can gain from increased survey participation.
Stream the episode.
What Executives Can Learn from Credit Union Failures
On the show, Doug welcomes back Maurice Smith, the recently retired CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union. After 43 years of credit union service, half of which as a CEO, Maurice shares how studying failures helped develop his leadership approach, and in retirement enables him to consult credit unions in identifying blind spots, recognizing warning signs, and uncovering new opportunities.
Stream the episode to hear valuable insight from Maurice and why he believes studying failure can help protect an organization and preserve the credit union movement.
How LifeNotes Can Help Rescue a Deferred Compensation Plan
Eric Stearns and Jay Rogers of Stearns Financial are back for another episode to share how their firm’s LifeNotes Strategy can help rescue a credit union’s deferred compensation plan, including 457(f) and collateral assignment split-dollar (CASD) plans.
With lower-than-average dividends and interest rates impacting projection illustrations, credit unions are searching for ways to reduce the duration of these plans and get repaid earlier while maintaining favorable tax treatment and benefits to their executives.
Eric, principal at Stearns Financial, provides use cases in which the LifeNotes Strategy can help augment or change an existing deferred compensation plan for the greatest value to all parties involved. Stream the episode to hear how your credit union can use the new strategy to address various duration, risk, and capital challenges.
LifeNotes Strategy Use Cases: How Credit Unions Can Add Flexibility to Life Insurance-Based Executive Benefits
In a previous podcast interview, Jay Rogers of Stearns Financial shared the firm's groundbreaking LifeNotes Strategy. The process involves purchasing life insurance-based plans to develop more adaptive features that aim to reduce duration risk and increase value to credit unions and executive participants.
In this episode, Eric Stearns, principal at Stearns Financial, joins the show to share use cases of how the LifeNotes Strategy has helped credit unions optimize their credit union-owned life insurance (CUOLI) plans.
Stream the episode to hear examples that might give you ideas to help your credit union and executives gain more value and flexibility to navigate a changing world.
How to Improve a Credit Union Life Insurance Policy for Executives
One of the original intentions has always been to leverage life insurance-based executive benefits, such as collateral assignment split dollar plans, to retain a credit union executive. However, these plans generally come with floating maturity dates that may not be tenable long-term. So, what happens when the original goal of these benefits changes; for example, when an executive considers leaving the organization sooner than expected or for other reasons? In these scenarios, credit unions have historically been forced to keep a less desirable asset on their balance sheet—until now.
Jay Rogers, senior executive consultant and director of business development at Stearns Financial, shares how credit unions can now use a new strategy to create or modify adaptive life insurance-based benefits plans that are attractive to credit unions and executives.
Stream the episode to learn how Stearns Financial is helping credit unions remove the risks inherent to traditional life insurance-based benefit plans to create more value for everyone involved.
How Higher Interest Rates May Affect Your Credit Union’s Sub-Debt Strategy
With a decrease in deposits and lending activity, credit unions face a new set of challenges in today’s economic environment that require strategic, proactive planning. During periods like this, “just-in-time” capital may provide the peace of mind credit unions need to pursue a necessary merger or acquisition, create organic growth, increase their net worth, or spend for other purposes. Credit unions can access this kind of capital in the subordinated debt (sub-debt) markets but is today’s higher interest rate environment the right time to issue sub-debt?
We introduced the benefits of credit unions issuing sub-debt on the podcast in 2021. Podcast guest Jeff Cardone, partner at Luse Gorman, returns to the show to give Doug an update on the sub-debt capital markets and what credit unions should think about when planning around today’s issues.
Stream the episode to learn more about the value of sub-debt, why a credit union may consider getting pre-approval as soon as possible, and why sub-debt may be attractive in today’s market environment.
How to Scale Your Charitable Giving: Key Decisions for Credit Unions
With a philosophy of “people helping people,” community outreach and charitable giving play critical roles in a credit union’s overall strategy. So what does it take for your credit union's charitable giving to make a real impact? According to our “C.U. on the Show” guest, every credit union should make critical decisions when developing and scaling its charitable giving to create a more meaningful and sustainable strategy.
Jama Campbell, senior vice president and executive director of the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation in North Carolina, joins Doug on the show. She shares how SECU developed and refined its approach to charitable giving and made the decision to create a dedicated foundation.
Stream the episode to hear more about Jama’s early-stage recommendations, such as identifying focus areas, funding models, and giving criteria including creative solutions beyond financial giving.
How Fintech Partnerships Can Help Create a Digital-First Credit Union
When you think of a digital-first organization, you may imagine the opposite of a personalized and thoughtful experience. However, “C.U. on the Show” guest Thomas Novak, vice president and chief digital officer at Visions Federal Credit Union, shares that’s exactly what his team is creating through strategic innovation and a buy, build, or partner approach to fintech.
Tom explains how Visions leverages technology and partners with fintech and other companies to deliver value, support seamless end-to-end member experiences, and augment what the credit union movement represents, from affordable pricing to altruism.
Stream the episode to hear Tom’s insight, recommendations, and notes of caution for other credit unions establishing a digital-first organization.
How Treasury Management Services Can Give Credit Unions a Competitive Advantage
From scalability to increased fee revenue to capturing more non-interest-bearing deposits, there are several reasons credit unions would want to expand their services to business members. However, until recently, big banks cornered the business services area of the market.
“C.U. on the Show” guest John Ballantyne, CEO of Tru Treasury, explains how treasury management solutions give credit unions a competitive advantage in serving business members. John and Doug discuss the benefits of credit unions leveraging treasury management services and which types of credit unions are best suited for the offering.
Stream the episode to learn how treasury management services can add value to your credit union and the businesses in your community.
How Fintech Can Help Credit Unions Stay Competitive
JPMorgan Chase currently invests $12 billion in technology annually, which is nearly twice as much as the IT budget of credit unions nationwide—combined. For this reason, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for credit unions to keep pace with the technology, research, and development of larger financial institutions. To stay relevant and continue improving client experiences and offerings, credit unions must find ways to leverage technology and use emerging trends or disruptions to their advantage. Our "C.U. on the Show" podcast guest describes why fintech partnerships, which integrate financial services and technology to address various needs, prove to be a more efficient credit union solution.
Doug welcomes guest Brian Kaas, president and managing director leading CMFG Ventures, CUNA Mutual Group’s venture capital entity that focuses on strategic, early-stage investments in the credit union, financial services, and insurance industries. Brian shares the trends CMFG is observing, how credit unions can benefit from fintech partnerships to address common and emerging challenges, and what credit unions should do today to prepare for the future.
Stream the episode to learn more.
How Credit Unions Can Develop “Ready-Now” CEO Candidates
Executive succession planning and finding someone to step into a CEO position is a critical role of your credit union's board. When done strategically, this process can help organizations develop internal candidates and position them for a CEO role years before a current leader leaves their position.
On the show, Doug welcomes Deedee Myers of DDJ Myers, a firm specializing in strategic planning support, succession planning, leadership development, and board governance. Focusing on the importance of leadership development, Deedee explains the process she uses when helping credit union boards develop “ready-now” CEO candidates—and it starts a lot earlier than you may expect.
Stream the episode to learn more, plus the proactive steps and tips executives can use to better position themselves for a CEO role.
How Executive Legacy Planning Can Benefit Your Credit Union Today
Legacy planning for executives is the process of identifying and preparing for what’s next following their career, whether that’s retirement, board service, consulting, or another interest. However, many credit union executives focused on day-to-day operations may not prioritize this planning and may be missing unexpected opportunities and insight that could benefit their organizations even before they retire.
On the podcast, Doug welcomes Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union. Also joining the discussion are returning guests Anne Sample and Patty Hamm of Navigate Forward. They talk about Maurice’s journey, the many lessons he learned from his legacy planning coaching, and how he’s using the tools he has gained in his current role before his retirement.
Stream the episode to learn more about why proactive executive planning can benefit your succession and exit planning and offer additional value to your current role, teams, and organization.
Design Elements Credit Unions Can Use to Help Reduce Risk in Split-Dollar Plans
While many credit unions have collateral assignment split-dollar plans as part of their executive benefits mix, it is no secret that these tools are more complex than other benefits. As a result, when designing and implementing a successful plan, credit unions must perform a preliminary and ongoing evaluation of several factors to help reduce the risks credit unions and their executives may assume.
On the show, Doug welcomes Dan Balogh, an executive benefits advisor at SWBC. For over 30 years, Dan has helped credit union boards and management teams develop executive retention and succession plans. Dan and Doug discuss the critical factors credit unions should consider when designing a new split-dollar plan or evaluating an existing one—and why overlooking these factors could cause negative implications and undue burden to the organization and its executives.
Stream the episode to learn more about how to design and stress test your split-dollar plan to help reduce financial risks while developing realistic, sustainable outcomes.
How Credit Unions Can Create Strategic Alignment
Amidst the challenges of the pandemic and an increasingly competitive talent market, credit unions are reevaluating their strategic game plans as they head into the future. However, what happens when executives and board members lack direction or aren’t on the same page? On the show, Doug welcomes Peter Myers, senior vice president at DDJ Myers, a firm specializing in senior leadership development, strategic alignment, and succession planning.
Peter emphasizes strategic alignment as a priority in helping credit unions reach their goals, innovate, and attract and retain top talent. He also describes the consequences credit unions can encounter when leadership isn’t moving in the same direction.
Stream the episode to learn the steps credit union executives can take to build strategic alignment in their organizations.
What Is Direct Indexing and How Can It Benefit Credit Union Executives?
Wes Johnson, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and co-founder of ACT Advisors, joins Doug on the show to discuss direct indexing, a new investment strategy. Wes explains direct indexing, how it works, and the tax advantages it can offer investors through tax loss harvesting.
Doug and Wes also explain how credit union executives can benefit from direct indexing, take unique advantage of tax opportunities in low- and high-income years, and customize their security purchases based on their social preferences or concentrated positions.
Stream the full episode to learn more.
When and How In-House Legal Counsel Can Add Value to Your Credit Union
When is the right time to secure in-house counsel for your credit union’s legal matters? On the podcast, Doug welcomes guest attorney Kendra Rubin, chief legal officer at SEFCU, a New York-based credit union. They discuss her journey joining the credit union movement, how she built a legal department from scratch, and the value an in-house attorney can add to a credit union beyond managing compliance and litigation issues.
Hear the entire conversation on when and how to get started, whether you’re a smaller credit union considering legal assistance or a larger institution looking to expand.
Stream the episode here.
Board Readiness for Credit Union Leaders
Serving on a board allows credit union leaders and those approaching retirement to continue advancing their mission-focused commitment, using their career experience, and giving back to their community. However, finding and obtaining a board role is not as simple as you may expect.
On the show, Doug welcomes Anne Sample and Patricia Hamm of Navigate Forward, a firm specializing in helping executives add board service to their professional experience or plan for the future beyond the end of their corporate careers. Anne and Patricia share the process for finding an opportunity that matches a leader’s experience and interests and how they help executives secure board seats.
Stream the full episode to learn more.
How Credit Unions Can Capture Revenue from the Growth of Online Gambling
The online gambling world is growing as its activity becomes more mainstream and laws evolve to allow it. This is an important area of growth, allowing credit unions to capture revenue from new online card transactions, but how do they start, and should they?
Guest Karen Postma of PSCU, a CUSO payment processing firm, explains how credit unions can get involved in online gambling transactions from a member service and income perspective and the common reasons they may be hesitant.
Listen to the full episode to learn about the potential benefits, risk factors to consider, and how to get started.
Capital Markets and How Credit Unions Can Issue Subordinated Debt
Historically, credit unions have accessed capital through CDs, short- and long-term loans, and other investment funds to help them expand and pursue strategic initiatives. However, as credit unions have grown over the years and are offering more complex services, there is a demand to meet balance sheet needs, causing them to enter the secondary capital market.
Capital markets also create an additional opportunity for credit unions to become issuers of capital through subordinated debt. In this episode, Doug welcomes guests representing Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, Bill Patton and Greg Hill. They discuss how they’re improving loan participations, how a credit union can become an issuer, and other factors credit unions should consider when entering the capital market space.
Stream the full episode now.
Why Target Date Funds are the Wrong Investment Vehicle for Many Credit Union Executives
Target date funds are popular for many 401(k) plan participants because they offer an investment strategy that automatically reduces risk as one approaches retirement. However, they’re a suboptimal solution for credit union executives with more retirement income sources and associated risk levels than the average employee.
In this episode, Doug explains why credit union executives should reconsider using a target date fund and the significant financial differences executives may experience using three case study examples.
Risk Factors for Credit Unions to Consider When Designing a Split-Dollar Plan
Matt Haid, area vice president at Gallagher, is back on the show to discuss the importance of split-dollar plan design. He shares the first factors to consider when choosing a plan and best practices to help credit unions protect themselves, their executives, and beneficiaries.
Stream the episode to learn more about funding vehicles, why some life insurance policies have a higher premium, and the difference between recourse and non-recourse loans.
How Credit Unions Can Create a Modern Workplace in a Competitive Job Market
Throughout the pandemic, transition to virtual work, and subsequent Great Resignation, employees are reflecting on what’s important to them in the workplace and whether or not they want to return to a traditional work environment. Flexibility, leadership development, and support for women, in particular, are becoming key characteristics for recruiting and retaining top talent. Doug welcomes guest Laurie Maddalena to discuss how credit unions can redesign the workplace to remain relevant in a competitive job market and attract and retain top talent.
How Female Leaders Can Stand Out in the Credit Union Movement
According to data released by CUNA, 51% of credit union CEOs are women. Still, women are less represented in the credit union workplace now than in the 1980s. Doug welcomes Jill Nowacki and Judy Tharp, leaders in the credit union movement, to the show to discuss the unique challenges women face in the workplace, why more women are choosing to stay home, and how female leaders can position themselves for an executive-level position.
Stream the full episode now.
Preliminary Steps for Credit Unions Acquiring Another Financial Institution
In the second part of this “C.U. on the Show” episode, Doug and Jeff delve into the acquiring or buying side of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and what credit unions should consider first as the acquiring institution.
The pair discuss the types of credit unions that may or may not be optimally positioned as an acquirer, the required process and documents, and an alternative capital funding option gaining more popularity within credit union M&A transactions.
Stream the episode now.
How Credit Union Leaders Can Improve Their Financial Outcomes in Retirement by as Much as 25%
Traditional financial planning offers practical tools for rank-and-file employees; however, it simply doesn’t capture the full breadth of complex financial situations and compensation benefits a credit union executive has to manage in the C-suite. Moreover, with a general lack of financial education available for executives, credit union leaders often can’t realize the full impact of their benefits suite without professional, strategic financial planning.
Paul Lloyd, CFP®, a wealth planning specialist with ACT Advisors, joins colleague Doug English, CFP®, on “C.U. on the Show” to discuss how credit union executives can make the most of their benefits and retirement income through financial planning and optimizing their existing resources.
Stream the episode now.
How Credit Unions Can Prepare Executive Compensation Benefits Before a Merger or Acquisition
Executing successful credit union mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involves coordinating various financial, social, and political components. In this episode, Doug welcomes guest Jeff Cardone, partner at Luse Gorman, specializing in representing credit unions in M&A transactions with other credit unions, banks, and fee-based businesses, as well as secondary capital, or subordinated debt transactions.
Jeff explains how a credit union typically enters into an M&A; factors to consider when preparing for an M&A, including executive compensation incentives and contractual agreements; and how credit unions can avoid an unsuccessful deal.
Stream the full episode for valuable insight if you’re a credit union board member or executive considering or undergoing an M&A.
How Credit Unions Can Partner With Fintech Companies and Stay Competitive
In this episode, Doug speaks with Kirk Drake, author of CU 2.0: A Guide for Credit Unions Competing in the Digital Age and founder of Ongoing Operations. They discuss the growing financial technology (fintech) space and how credit unions can partner with these companies to remain competitive in the digital age. Learn more about the requirements to participate, what a typical arrangement looks like, and the long-term benefits of leveraging this type of outside capital and innovation to members and the credit union.
Stream the episode now.
Why Credit Unions Should Consider Getting Pre-Approved for Subordinated Debt
In this episode of “C.U. on the Show,” Doug welcomes guest Jeff Cardone to discuss how accessing the subordinated debt (sub-debt) market can be an attractive option in helping credit unions reach their short- and long-term strategic objectives. They also dive into the approval process, a new rule effective in January, and why a credit union may consider getting pre-approved sooner rather than later.
Helping Credit Unions Better Understand the Complexities Behind Split-Dollar Plans
In this episode, Doug is joined by guest Matt Haid, area vice president of Gallagher Executive Benefits. Matt has more than 30 years of experience helping leaders of the credit union movement design, fund, and implement split-dollar plans along with other instruments meant to attract, retain, and reward top executive talent.
On the show, Matt explains the different funding options most credit unions use when offering a split-dollar plan, including whole life or index universal life insurance, and the nuances involved within each type. Stream the full episode to learn the key differences and how credit unions can make the best use of the powerful split-dollar executive benefit.
Split-Dollar Versus 457(f) Plans and What Credit Unions Should Evaluate
Collateral assignment split-dollar and 457(f) plans have become popular among credit unions as retention and retirement tools for their top executives. But which of these benefits should your credit union implement?
Doug welcomes guest Mike Downey, senior managing director at Newcleus Credit Union Advisors, back to the show. They discuss the key differences between the plans, the benefits a 457(f) may offer over a split-dollar and vice versa, and what credit unions should keep in mind when designing their executive benefits package.
If you’re proposing new executive benefits, listen to the full episode to hear details that may help to inform your decision.
Can—and Should—Your Credit Union Serve Cannabis-Related Businesses?
With the legalization of medical and adult-use marijuana spreading across the country, your credit union may be considering how to begin providing financial services to cannabis-related businesses—or if you should.
Doug welcomes Gary Lax to the podcast, a partner at Luse Gorman, specializing in regulatory and enforcement law for financial institutions. Gary offers insight into the rapidly growing cannabis industry, what credit unions should know before entering the space, and factors that may prevent your credit union’s participation.
Stream the episode to learn more valuable tips and guidance about serving the cannabis industry.
When to Take Strategic Risk in Your Credit Union—Your ACTion Point
As a credit union executive, any bold initiative or decision comes with financial or political risk. However, while necessary in driving your credit union forward, your choices ultimately have the potential to affect your future employment and overall financial and retirement plan.
In the episode, Doug speaks with ACT Advisors Wealth Specialist Paul Lloyd, CFP®. Paul shares his latest white paper and data regarding the ACTion Point, or the point in time when an executive’s financial plan will maintain a statistical level of success if their benefits or income unexpectedly change due to termination or changing jobs. He goes on to explain why identifying your ACTion Point, understanding your executive benefits, and feeling secure in your personal financial plan are critical components to leading your credit union daringly.
Listen to the full episode or access the white paper now.
Risks Credit Union Executives and Boards Should Consider With Collateral Assignment Split-Dollar Plans
At first glance, collateral assignment split-dollar plans (CASDs) appear similar to a pension plan as a means to retain top credit union executives. However, the complex nature of CASDs may mean credit unions and executives could overlook the risks in how the plan’s design, legal agreements, and vesting schedule are structured.
To help clarify the features of these plans and offer strategies to help reduce these risks is Mike Downey, senior managing director at Newcleus Credit Union Advisors. Mike shares his insight and expertise in helping credit unions design and implement executive benefit programs that serve both credit unions and executives.
Stream the episode as Mike and Doug discuss the CASD components to consider and how to avoid future challenges.
How to Position Internal Credit Union Leaders for Success in CEO Succession Planning
Succession planning for credit union CEOs ideally occurs years before their anticipated retirement date. On the show, Doug speaks with Steve Harkins, retired CEO of the former SC Telco Federal Credit Union, about his thorough and innovative exit strategy.
Steve shares valuable step-by-step insight into how he positioned internal candidates for the job and involved his board to create buy-in and confidence in the credit union’s future.
If you’re a credit union CEO planning your succession, you won’t want to miss Steve’s experience and perspective on how you may exit strategically and successfully.
How Credit Unions May Overcome Income Challenges with a Charitable Donation Account
With a significant increase in member deposits due to multiple government stimulus payments, credit unions have to find new ways to create yields and offset costs. Doug welcomes guest Mike Downey to the show to discuss how credit unions can generate more income and increase profits using a charitable donation account (CDA).
Mike discusses how a CDA, which offers alternative investment options, can enable credit unions to provide donations to the community while also generating income. Doug and Mike discuss the details of this investment instrument, how credit unions can fund the account through credit union-owned life insurance (CUOLI), and the risks and benefits credit unions should consider.
Stream the full episode now.
How Credit Unions Can Avoid or Minimize the 21% Nonprofit Excise Tax
The 2017 Tax Act included provisions that could impose a 21% excise tax for certain nonprofit institutions, including credit unions. Credit unions could be subject to the tax if they pay more than $1 million in income to an executive in one calendar year. While many executives may not meet that threshold in salary alone, the law also factors in executive benefits such as 457(f) distributions, which could pose significant tax implications for credit unions.
Doug welcomes attorney Rick Miller to the show to discuss this and other situations in which the tax would be payable and offers strategies to help credit unions avoid or mitigate the tax impact.
Stream the full episode now.
Why Credit Unions Should Conduct Executive Benefits Due Diligence
Is your executive compensation benefits package positioned to support your credit union and management team 5, 10, or 20 years down the road? Doug welcomes insurance and executive benefits expert Michael Blank to the show to discuss why conducting ongoing due diligence when selecting service providers, designing and implementing a plan, and considering long-term performance are essential.
Additionally, he talks about the risks and rewards of split-dollar plans, why plan education is so important, and how you can strengthen your plans to sustain executives when they need them.
Stream the full episode now.
How to Optimize an Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan
From the front line to the executive suite, every credit union employee has different needs when planning for retirement. It is why guest Phil Westhoff, who leads the Qualified Plan Advisory Group at Stearns Financial, discusses why a one-size-fits-all approach to employer-sponsored retirement plans isn’t beneficial for plan participants.
Doug and Phil discuss why credit union executives should take a different approach when it comes to investing in target date funds, tips for optimizing your retirement strategy, and what you should look for in a retirement plan.
Listen to hear the full details.
Women Who Lead: How to Manage Gender Bias, Goals, and a C.U. Career
Judy Tharp, retired president and CEO of Piedmont Advantage Credit Union, discusses her 40-year career with Doug, including becoming a CEO at the age of 22. She shares the insights she gained from her experience, how to get buy-in from a credit union board, and advice for rising credit union leaders. She also speaks particularly to female professionals and their unique challenges, such as managing gender bias, gender wage gaps, and family dynamics as a credit union executive.
Listen to the full episode to hear more about Judy’s long career and the lessons she learned along the way.
How Credit Unions Can Adapt as New Trends Emerge
How can credit unions stay relevant when big banks drive trends? Doug English welcomes Steve Fowler, retired president and CEO of the South Carolina Credit Union League (SCCUL), to discuss his role during the rapid growth period of credit unions in the 2000s. Steve recounts how leaders of the credit union movement innovated to meet members’ evolving needs in the face of new products and services offered by larger institutions.
His experience is a valuable lesson for credit union executives across the country—who continually face changes with technology, regulation, and their members’ preferences—in how they may adapt and keep thriving when new trends and services emerge.
How to Ask a Credit Union Board for New Executive Benefits
Executive compensation benefits are essential to incentivizing and retaining top executives while helping them save enough for retirement. While these types of packages are critical to a credit union executive, proposing new benefits and seeking buy-in from a credit union board can result in an awkward and challenging conversation.
In the episode, Doug talks to Andy Sheeter, founder of the Sheeter Group, specializing in supplemental executive retirement plans for credit union leaders across the country. Andy gives practical tips for working with your board toward a more competitive and satisfactory executive benefits package.
Listen to hear the full details.