Meeting Coverage

Appropriate supervision can lighten regulatory burden, Fed chief says

If the Federal Reserve continues its emphasis on regulatory reform, community bankers may not find much in the exam process to complain about. They already largely welcome the exams and regulators themselves, finding fault with only the redundant and cumbersome natures of some of the compliance requirements, according to a national survey of 611 community bankers conducted by regulators from the Fed and state regulatory agencies.

The survey was released at the fifth annual 21st Century Research and Policy Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, conducted Oct. 4-5 at the St. Louis Fed. [Continue]

Patience, outreach, lead M&A strategies discussed at BHCA Seminar

Most of the many merger and acquisition strategies discussed during the Bank Holding Company Association’s Fall Seminar, “Buy, Sell or Hold: Strategies for Success,” sounded familiar to Lynn Fuller.

The president and CEO of Heartland Financial, Dubuque, Iowa, has made acquisitions a habit for more than three decades. Fuller described Heartland’s growth from less than $200 million in assets to $8.2 billion during one of the general session presentations at the seminar held at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Bloomington, Minn., Oct. 2-3.

“I said to my father, ‘We better giddy up or get out,’” Fuller said. “Our goal back then was to get into the top 100 banks. Today, we’re somewhere between 90 and 80, depending on how our positions go. … Starting from less than $200 million, you can imagine that was a long haul.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago gave Fuller the push he needed to pursue acquisitions when it predicted massive consolidation coming. [Continue]

Strategies on tax reform, credit unions discussed at IBA convention

Leaders of the Iowa Bankers Association articulated the group’s top priority: gaining tax parity with credit unions. David Nelson, CEO of West Bank, West Des Moines, and Kurt Herbrechtsmeyer, president and CEO of First Security Bank & Trust, Charles City, focused on credit union taxation during their respective speeches at the 131st annual IBA convention. The meeting, which attracted nearly 600 bankers, vendors and guests, took place Sept. 17-19 at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines. [Continue]

The Super Conference formula: Culture plus strategy equals success

The “Best Banks in America Super Conference” hosted by The Emmerich Group on Sept. 11-13 in Minneapolis did not follow the conventional industry meeting script. There were no vendor pitches, no exhibit hall, no breakout sessions that sent groups of bankers into separate rooms. Instead, energetic music opened each session; people clapped along like they do during a time-out at an NBA game. [Continue]

Pawlenty, Kashkari offer echoing assessments of reg relief likelihood

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari addressed bankers gathered Aug. 10-12 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Bloomington for the 55th annual convention of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota. Both relayed similar messages about a consensus on the necessity for reg relief but skepticism about the likelihood of it coming any time soon.

“There is a consensus in Washington,” said Pawlenty, CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. “They can’t always act on it, but at least they have a sentiment that community bankers, first of all, are very valuable, and second of all, need relief in terms of regulation,” he said. “The details of that and what form that takes is still a work in progress, but there is certainly political across-the-aisle consensus around it. [Continue]