Briefly Noted

One of the biggest struggles for small and midsized banks is attracting and retaining great employees and senior managers. It was for this reason that we compiled the following ideas for bank directors and senior executives looking to recruit, train and promote employees.


We first wrote about First Horizon National Corp.’s emerging leaders program for mid-level managers last year, but it remains an inspiring setup. Selected employees go through a 10-month program in addition to their day jobs that teaches leadership skills and problem-solving, and gives participants hands-on projects to support the bank. Several weeks per year, they travel to the bank’s headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, for in-person training. The idea is that future senior executives will be chosen from the pool. The $29 billion asset bank’s CEO, D. Bryan Jordan, says he is focused on training that goes beyond credit risk management and includes adapting to technological change.


Banks and other companies struggle getting women into senior executive positions. The Swiss banking giant UBS is working on this problem by recruiting people who had a promising background as leaders in the financial industry, but took at least a two-year break from the workforce, usually to care for children. The bank plans to accept 12 people into its U.S. program this year, a five-month paid internship, with the hope that they will get permanent jobs with the company.


Need some feedback on your products and services and hope to recruit from the younger generation? Why not start a millennial advisory board? That’s just what Centric Bank in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, did in early 2016. The board gives millennials direct access to decision makers inside the organization and a chance to practice their leadership abilities. The bank, meanwhile, gets a sounding board and a slate of potential employees.


Your chief marketing officer could be instrumental in helping your organization manage reputational risk, crisis and threats to your brand, says consulting firm Deloitte. Chief marketing officers are finally getting invited into the C-suite and interacting with the board on important strategic matters, the firm says. Directors can ask the chief marketing officer questions about how well the organization incorporates marketing data and analytics into strategy and operations. Questions might include: What analysis and reporting should the board expect to get so it can monitor disruptive threats and opportunities? Are engagements with customers, partners and third parties aligning with the company’s cultural values? Chief marketing officers should be in a good position to help with these questions.


Naomi Snyder


Editor-in-Chief Naomi Snyder is in charge of the editorial coverage at Bank Director. She oversees the magazine and the editorial team’s efforts on the Bank Director website, newsletter and special projects. She has more than two decades of experience in business journalism and spent 15 years as a newspaper reporter. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

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