Investor logic and capital plays

A customer-centric culture and having capital to serve a market are tried-and-true ways to achieve steady organic growth. To drive exponential growth like 40-year-old President and CEO David Saber is doing requires a strategic X-factor. And capital. Park Financial Group has both in Andy Redleaf, its primary shareholder. [Continue]

Minnesotan harnesses lending zeitgeist

Even in a robust economy, there are credit-worthy borrowers who cannot get a loan for their business or a mortgage to buy a home. David Saber, chair and CEO of Park Financial Group, sees these credit anomalies as opportunities, and with a supportive owner, he’s building a nimble banking organization. [Continue]

Bair: “Kids just don’t know” about student debt

Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, a JFK Profiles in Courage Award winner and twice recognized by Forbes magazine as the “second most powerful woman in the world,” called on the U.S. Department of Education to do more to help college students understand the cost of borrowing. [Continue]

Good management starts at the top

In “Bull by the Horns,” former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair notes morale at the agency increased dramatically under her leadership during the financial crisis, with it even being recognized as a “best place to work.” [Continue]

FDIC chairs consider the cycles of regulation

Can regulators reduce the regulatory burden for bankers without hurting industry safety and soundness or weakening consumer protections? Two FDIC chairs — one former, one current — shared comments that addressed that question during recent forums in Minneapolis. [Continue]

Alexa not Alex: Why are all the chatbots female?

Chatbots and digital assistants are everywhere. Start typing questions in a chatbox on a website, and there’s a good chance you’re not conversing with a living, breathing human. The truth is chatbots save companies money. But why are so many of them “female?” [Continue]

No waiting required

Amazon has totally transformed the retail landscape, including the supply chain and expectations of customers who want things immediately. Bankers trying to differentiate in a crowded marketplace are increasingly committing themselves to a service standard that clears the Amazon baseline. [Continue]

Payment realities

Was anyone surprised when the Fed announced August 5 it would create a real-time payment and settlement service? The Fed has been the backstop clearing house for payments for more than a century; the evolution of those payments to digital is no reason for the Fed to back away from the crucial work of facilitating payments and settlement. [Continue]

Preaching the value of ‘ultra touch’ banking

As chief operations officer of Park State Bank, Duluth, Minn., Leann Stessman oversees daily operations along with the integration processes that follow an acquisition. This includes its “ultra touch” approach, which models itself after Amazon Prime: “The team is very focused on making things as easy as possible for clients…we just show up.” [Continue]

Fintech applied to high-touch wealth management

Technology should provide advantages to every user — bank employees, advisors and clients. Technology is flexible, which enables the incorporation of traditional options like paper quarterly reports. It can enhance the relationship with an advisor but is unlikely to completely replace it, and that’s where Sawtooth comes in. [Continue]