Lochlin Partners Assists SW Graduate School of Banking Foundation with CEO Search

March 6, 2024 – Following a national search, executive search firm Lochlin Partners recently assisted in the placement of William Chittenden as the new president and CEO of the SW Graduate School of Banking (SWGSB) Foundation, headquartered at the SMU Cox School of Business. The selection follows previous president and CEO Jeffrey R. Schmid’s appointment to president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in August 2023. “The board of trustees is extremely excited for Dr. Chittenden’s leadership after serving as our chief academic officer and more than two decades on our faculty,” said Jill Castilla, chairman of the SWGSB board of trustees and president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond. “Dr. Chittenden advanced SWGSB’s reputation as a nationally recognized leader in financial institution executive education and enhanced our curriculum with innovative offerings and esteemed faculty. We are excited to build upon president Schmid’s foundational leadership. I am confident Dr. Chittenden will continue to elevate SWGSB’s reputation as the most trusted educational source for bank executive education, leadership development, and director training programs.”

Dr. Chittenden has a long and respected academic career, having previously taught at the University of Colorado Denver and Northern Illinois University, specializing in short-term financial management and financial markets and institutions. A past president of both the Academy of Financial Services and the San Antonio Treasury Management Association, Dr. Chittenden currently serves on the investment committees for both Comal and Hays counties and is an ex-officio member of the Texas Association of Counties’ County investment education committee.

“As a long-time SWGSB faculty member, I am proud to take on this leadership role,” said Dr. Chittenden. “SWGSB changes the trajectory of careers with an executive education experience like no other. In collaboration with the prestigious Cox School of Business, we have exciting plans for SWGSB, the Assemblies for Bank Directors, and the Certified Community Bank Director’s Program in 2024 and beyond. I am honored to continue to be a part of providing this transformational experience that builds effective leaders and well-informed bank boards nationwide.”

Established in 1957 at SMU Cox, the mission of the SW Graduate School of Banking is a trusted educational source for loan officers, bank directors, regulators, commercial lenders, operations officers, marketing officers, and management professionals. SWGSB is a nationally recognized leader in bank management education at the corporate level, serving financial services professionals with banking education, bank leadership development, and bank director training programs.

Related: Lochlin Partners Assists SOME with CEO Search

Lochlin Partners conducts searches for board and executive-level positions within government and corporate affairs, government contracting, technology and services, higher education, the public sector, financial services, and healthcare. The firm is led by managing partners Liza Wright, Pat Friel, and Mike Kirkman. Each of the managing partners has been in the search business for 20 or more years and has been a partner in one of the four large international firms—and in most cases has run a major office or practice at those firms.

Insider or Outsider?

Recruiters focused on finding talent for the C-suite say that at least half of all job openings are filled by internal candidates before the positions are introduced to the public job market. This may suggest that companies have relatively reliable bench strength even though leadership development is seen as stagnating at many companies. The main reason given: Companies prefer to promote from within.

For those searches that go to recruiters, with a clear mandate to look wide and deep both inside and outside a client organization, internal candidates still surface more often and get the job about 80 percent of the time.

Recruiters say clients generally like to be seen as making bold moves but in the end many remain risk averse when it comes to hiring elite executives, especially into their highly protected upper leadership ranks. They look at insiders as safer bets. Knowing this mindset going in, recruiters say they advise their clients that when they have an inside candidate who is 70 percent as strong as an outside choice to hire the insider. Fit and culture seem to be the deciding factor.

“There is a greater risk when you bring somebody in from the outside that it won’t work out,” said Kathleen Yazbak, founder of Boston-based Viewcrest Advisors, a boutique search firm focused on finding leadership talent for mission-driven and high-performing companies, social enterprises, and philanthropies.

Internal candidates know the business model, organization goals, and inside cultures, say recruiters, and oftentimes they have the requisite skills. They know the customers, clients, and co-workers. They have also established relationships with colleagues and their organization’s leaders. But, more importantly, they have already shown their potential. They can, therefore, assimilate faster and will likely be more satisfied in their new roles than outside hires.

Related: Lochlin Partners Recruits CFO for American Chemical Society

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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