I recently experienced the loss of my father, a loss many of you have felt, so you know the hollowness it leaves in your stomach. He was a great dad, grandfather, and mentor—and a pretty darn good Irishman to boot! As much as that was a tremendous loss to all of us, it was a great day for him because he was truly just a semblance of his former self, a man who had been emaciated from illness. Within a very short time, however, I learned that one of my children and his wife would usher yet another grandchild into our lives, and the feeling of loss was almost immediately overwhelmed by joy. I knew my father would be smiling from his resting place, albeit with a bit of a smirk knowing that we would soon have 10 little ones running around and bringing us madness and joy at the same time.
Such is the circle of life, a circle that brings tears of joy from the same eyes that not long before spilled tears of sorrow. What does this have to do with our financial institution world? Well, it is simply this: I was able to watch the changes in my dad and did all I could to help usher him through his last days. Some things helped him immensely, and some did little to aid him. But I saw the changes and had to react. Are you seeing the changes that will inevitably alter the way you go to market? For example, how are you going to reach the millennials, many of whom have never been in a bank, nor do they want to be? Do you embrace new products or delivery systems that consumers will demand? Mobile delivery systems must be part of your arsenal. Finally, are you addressing all the new risks you will confront from these business changes?
Wipfli’s strategy and risk management groups spend all their time working with banks asking these questions. They help address your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. They help identify market changes that you will inevitably have to address. They help you recognize when something you have done forever is broken and needs to be replaced. Then they help you respond to the risk challenges new business lines and systems bring. Please reach out to our consultants so you are ready to take on the changes that banking brings. After all, this is your financial institution’s circle of life.