Opinion

AI tools speed, secure M&A processes

Founded in 1968 in St. Paul, Minn., Datasite specialized in financial printing, marketing and communications for regulated industries. In 2018, the company went through a major transformation, divesting its legacy businesses to focus solely on its M&A platform. Jenna Kroll, Datasite regional sales manager, based out of Chicago, describes how tech is changing M&A. [Continue]

Was 2020 a good year financially? Consider a tender offer

Many banking organizations had a record year in 2020 and are wondering how to obtain a return on increased capital to best benefit the long-term strategic goals of the bank.  This has resulted in an uptick in M&A activity and an analysis of new lending and investment opportunities. One area that many banks overlook, however, is the ability to return capital to shareholders via a tender offer. [Continue]

Nothing beats a written plan when setting goals

For quite a few years, the conversations surrounding agriculture have focused on financial stress. Since 2014, we’ve had a rise in farm bankruptcies, we watched low commodity prices place downward pressure on land values, we expected farm incomes to be stretched thin, and we knew that years of struggle were manifesting in mental health crises across rural America. [Continue]

What the USDA’s American Families Plan means for farmers

The USDA issued a press release in which they indicated that the transfer tax proposed in the American Families Plan will not affect 98 percent of farm estates. However, the details are lacking and most farm families that keep the farm in the family may not owe any transfer tax — but they will owe a lot more income tax under the proposal. [Continue]

Stress tests can guide CRE decision-making

Lenders, property owners, economists, and more have been holding their collective breaths when it comes to potential fallout from Covid-19 on commercial real estate. With so many unknowns, implementing clear internal parameters for CRE stress testing is warranted. You’ll need to consider this in the context of new loans, annual reviews and/or ongoing risk management. [Continue]

Understanding encryption (and why it’s not enough)

Bankers keep a lot of secrets, and they are able to do this in our modern world with encryption. For most, encryption is a mystery and taken for granted. We know it’s important. We know we’re doomed to be a criminal’s mark without it. Yet, we probably have little sense of when it’s in use or not.  [Continue]

Three things lawmakers should consider for tax laws

When a new party comes into the White House, with control of Congress, it raises or lowers federal taxes according to its priorities. President Biden has laid out ambitious spending plans and expects to pay for a portion of it with increased tax revenues. Income taxes and capital gains taxes are obvious targets, although the President has pledged not to raise income taxes for people earning less than $400,000 per year.  [Continue]

Navigating the perils of Reg O

Most community bankers are familiar with Regulation O, the Federal Reserve’s set of rules intended to prevent abuse of bank credit by bank presidents, directors and other “insiders.” Reg O has been around for 40 years, and the terrain of compliance is well trodden. But familiarity doesn’t necessarily shield bankers and bank owners from the risks of running afoul of this key regulation. Its stipulations and restrictions are complicated, and pitfalls await those who fail to pay attention to the details. [Continue]

Change is real

Fourteen months after the coronavirus paralyzed the country, it seems we are returning to pre-pandemic normalcy. Most of the people I talk to are looking forward to a summer when we can meet in person again, attend live events, and socialize without fear. But what is “normal” and will we ever be able to get back to the way things were? Some of the changes of the last year do not seem to be retractable. Consider: Customers, employees and cash. [Continue]

Preparing a response to a looming crisis

The banking industry is no stranger to crisis. From the Great Depression’s collapse of the financial system to the ag crisis of the 1980s to the housing crisis of 2008/2009… each era has brought about major — and permanent — changes to banking regulations. [Continue]