Meeting Coverage

Focus on management best approach for ag lenders, speakers says

Nov. 2. Kohl was addressing bankers attending the 37th annual Bankers Seminar hosted by the accounting and consulting firm of Eide Bailly. Kohl addressed another Eide Bailly group the day prior in Fargo, N.D.

Kohl warned that prices for ag commodities are not returning to the levels experienced between 2006 and 2012. The United States is dealing with a surplus of ag commodities, which is keeping prices low. While productivity is up in many places around the globe, export demand is strong, particularly in light of a weakening dollar. Approximately 21 percent of U.S. ag income comes from exports, he said. [Continue]

CBAI bolsters policy independence, urges reg relief effort

With a vote of the membership, the Community Bankers Association of Illinois strengthened its resolve against a merger with another banking association. The vote took place during CBAI’s annual convention at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Springfield, Ill., Sept. 14-16. The CBAI unanimously approved an amendment to its constitution making it significantly more difficult to change association policy on bank structure or to merge with another association.

Previously, only 60 percent of the member banks in attendance needed to approve any change, but the amendment raised that figure to 80 percent. Proposed changes to matters of policy consistent with CBAI precedents still need only 60 percent approval.

“It elevates the threshold on issues of that magnitude,” outgoing CBAI President Bob Wingert said, leading the final convention of his 43-year career. “In other words, there has to be a meaningful consensus to take that course of action.” [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]