Dearth of qualified CEO candidates is a time bomb for boards


Credit Union Journal | October 5, 2018

Credit Union Journal published a bylined article, “Dearth of qualified CEO candidates is a time bomb for boards,” authored by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Robert Voth on the industry’s looming CEO succession crisis. The article is excerpted below.

Credit unions are experiencing a CEO succession challenge unlike any other industry.

For years, the credit union industry has successfully served its members while offering consumers a viable alternative to traditional banks. Their conservative nature, along with the natural limits of growth that come with sphere-of-membership and select employee member rules, has led to an industry-wide culture steeped in traditional volunteer boards managing long-term CEOs and C-suite executives.

This structure and the relationships that have developed have stood the test of decades. The savings and loan crisis of the ‘80s, the internet boom of the late ‘90s and the Great Recession were all witnessed and survived by the senior management teams at most of today’s credit unions.

However, this invaluable industry knowledge and veteran leadership comes with a downside that is unique to the credit union industry. Russell Reynolds Associates’ recent credit union CEO searches have uncovered some unsettling statistics and facts related to the pool of senior talent, both internal and external, from which credit unions have to draw.

Of the 108 U.S.-based credit unions with more than $2 billion in deposits, 64% have CEOs considered near or at retirement age. Furthermore, another 15 percent are happy where they are with no intention of leaving, 8 percent cannot relocate for personal reasons and 5 percent have recently been appointed.

This leaves 8 percent of CEOs able to even consider an opportunity outside of their own credit union.

To read the full article, click here.

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Dearth of qualified CEO candidates is a time bomb for boards