Conroy Ross Partners Leading CEO Search for Canadian Credit Union

September 15, 2017 – These are critical days for credit unions. The U.S. has nearly 6,000 of them, with more than $1.2 trillion in assets, according to the National Credit Union Administration.

But with the steady retirement of Baby Boomers, among other factors, the cooperatives are facing the loss of more than 4,000 chief executive officers and senior managers over the next five years.

This means that leadership development, succession planning and employee retention are more important than ever.

Executive search firm Conroy Ross Partners was recently tapped by credit union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) in Alberta, Canada to lead its search for a new CEO.

CUDGC’s CEO is expected to provide strategic direction and executive leadership to a team of professionals to fulfill the corporation’s mandate of instilling confidence in Saskatchewan’s credit unions, said the search firm. The individual helps guarantee deposits and maintains an effective regulatory regime by promoting responsible governance and prudent business practices by credit unions that contribute to the strength and stability of the credit union system.

The Right Fit

The right candidate will be expected to handle changes in circumstances and priorities, the firm said. The person must demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and/ or tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency. According to Conroy Ross, the executive must be a passionate role model and advocate who works to engage the team, harnessing their passion and commitment to the mission, vision and values of the organization. They must also be confident leader who takes initiative and a creative approach to problem solving. The individual must also be an influential leader who demonstrates credibility, competence and caring.

Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation was the first deposit guarantor in Canada, and has successfully guaranteed the full repayment of deposits held in Saskatchewan credit unions since 1953. Over six decades, CUDGC has evolved from a mechanism of mutual self-help to an organization that has played a significant role in the shift to a prudential regulatory model for Saskatchewan credit unions.

Founded in 1994, Conroy Ross Partners is a national search and consulting firm with offices across Canada. The firm works with leadership teams to recruit a wide range of C-level executives. It has expertise in both the private and public sectors, and services a diverse group of clients, across a breadth of different industries.

Credit Unions Witnessing Growth

“As the credit union industry continues to evolve in complexity and sophistication, the need for strategically placed business partners who can provide counsel on compensation, board governance and talent acquisition has never been more important,” said Mike Juratovac, sector leader of credit union and community banking in Korn Ferry Futurestep’s North America financial services practice. The industry as a whole, he said, has become more reliant on talent consulting services, including talent acquisition, workforce planning and employee development.

“We see enormous potential in this sector, as the popularity of credit unions is skyrocketing among consumers as they typically offer lower fees and better returns,” said Eric Goldstein, global market leader, Korn Ferry Futurestep financial services. “Additionally, following the 2008 financial crisis, many U.S. consumers moved their savings from large banks to credit unions and community banks.”

Turning to Search Firms to Find Talent

Credit unions have been coming to executive search firms in droves to fill senior leadership roles. Here are some recent assignments from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives.

McDermott & Bull placed Mike Floyd as executive vice president, chief credit officer with Technology Credit Union, which serves upwards of 80,000 members in the San Francisco area. Conducting the search was Brandon Biegenzahn, president of the Irvine, CA-based search firm; Michelle Davis; Shree Thakarar; and Laurie Henderson.

The Congressional Federal Credit Union in Oakton, VA, and Southern Mass Credit Union of Fairhaven, MA, turned to executive search firm D. Hilton Associates to find new CEOs. Congressional Federal Credit Union was started by eight Congressional employees in 1953, with just $40 in deposits. Today it has 47,000 members with over $900 million in assets.

McDermott & Bull recruited Val Scott as chief technology and innovation officer to Golden 1 Credit Union, the nation’s sixth largest credit union, with $10 billion in assets. The search was led by Brandon Biegenzahn, co-chair of the firm’s financial institutions practice, along with associate consultant Michelle Davis.

O’Rourke and Associates placed Brad Douglas as chief executive officer of the Heartland Credit Union Association (HCUA). HCUA is the not-for-profit trade association for credit unions which was formed through the consolidation of the Kansas Credit Union Association and the Missouri Credit Union Association.

D. Hilton Associates tapped Tracy McCord as VP of marketing at East Idaho Credit Union. East Idaho Credit Union was founded in 1935 as the Idaho Falls U.S. Government Employees Federal Credit Union. It remains one of the oldest Credit Unions in Eastern Idaho and operates under both a community charter and an expanded charter based on occupation.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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