Preparing For The Future…

Preparing For The Future…

Last month when Garrett Macdonald, Vice President of three+one®, presented at the New York GFOA Annual Conference, he asked a large sample of Public Officials the following question: “How long have you served in your current position”.  The responses were surprising to the audience.

The largest group of responders were those who have served 15 to 20 years in such positions, at 30%, while the second largest group of 26% were those who have served between 1 to 5 years.

The findings tell us that a very significant group of public finance professionals are relatively new to their position, while a smaller middle group will be tasked – and taxed – with both continued mentorship of the younger professionals and replacing the veterans who make up the biggest group.

As I blogged last year, over 50% of those who serve as financial officials today are over the age of 55.  With this being the case, the need to build bench strength for future leadership in one’s finance office is essential in order to carry on consistency and institutional knowledge.

What can one do to prepare for a smooth transition to those whom we serve in a financial leadership position?

1) It is never too early to start building bench strength within your team.  Provide a pathway of learning, essential tools, and institutional knowledge as new talent comes into your office.

2) Allow new talent to share and adopt new ideas and technology in your office as you all prepare for the future. Keep in mind that a majority of today’s taxpayers use technology to communicate and pay their bills. It is imperative to understand the future of how financial transactions will be conducted.  It will be far different in the future than how they are done today.

3) Have your new talent develop a relationship with your financial providers. Consistency of relationship and expectations provide a pathway for a smooth transition.

4) Never stop teaching, and allow your staff to pursue continuing education, including direct links to Higher Ed institutions and certificate programs.

5) Plan on developing and purchasing greater technology. Individuals entering the finance world are extremely tech savvy and will expect to have the resources to perform their jobs. They will tend to be extremely productive with the right technology and software packages.

The chasm between those public officers with many years of experience and those that are new to the positions needs to be recognized. With the proper training and resources, the pathway to continued success will occur both now and in the future.

The Technology Edge

The Technology Edge

One of the underlining reasons for the merging of large regional banks is to provide a scale of efficiency: less duplication of risk and compliance overhead, coupled with the ability to build greater, stronger & secure sources of technology for its organization and client base.

As I mentioned a couple blogs ago, this trend of regional banks merging is only just beginning. Where will this leave the smaller Community Banks? The answer is at a real disadvantage, especially when it comes to larger institutional clients like public entities and higher Ed & healthcare organizations.

The Technology Edge

Electronic banking, fraud protection security, and near field technology conveniences – just to name a few – are already being offered by the large banks. They have either built these systems internally or partnered up with fintech companies, requiring large sums of capital investment.

Community banks work with third-party vendors in providing some level of technology support. This comes at a hefty price and can be tough to calculate when pricing product offerings, especially for banking services RFPs.

As a result, the trends I see developing over the next couple of years will be:

1) Community banks will primarily focus on retail consumer banking, being managed out of a local branch. Banking will remain local.

2) Technology will be in the forefront of large banks, including the new entities formed by merging banks.

3) Larger banks will continue to partner with fintech companies to innovate new levels of security and the transfer of funds, like blockchain.

At threeplusone®, we remain a leader in tracking the innovation of bank technology and providers. It is important to be aware of these trends and the sources of such technology, so they can be applied where necessary and incorporated into banking services RFPs.

Technology is moving at the speed of light, and the ability to stay informed is essential in making your life simpler for you and those you serve. Contact us at threeplusone® to ensure you’re capitalizing on the efficiencies and gains financial technology can bring you.