Retirements may hurt banks that cut training in slumping economy by ProQuest


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									                                                                      sPOtLiGHt: BankinG & FinanCE

                                                                      Retirements may hurt banks that
                                                                      cut training in slumping economy
                                                                                   By Martin C. Daks

                                                                                                                          ThinkStock Photos
                                                                      The slow economy has spurred some
                                                                      banks to trim or even scrap their training pro-
                                                                      grams in favor of raiding experienced execu-
                                                                      tives from competitors, according to some
                                                                      industry recruiters.
                                                                           It may be good business for head hunters,
                                                                      but there’s also some long-term concern about
                                                                      what will happen when these mainly middle-
                                                                      aged execs retire and there’s no younger base
                                                                      to replace them.
                                                                           “In the past, people were hired right out
                                                                      of undergraduate or graduate school, and
                                                                      then they entered a formal bank-training pro-
                                                                      gram,” said Roseann Casiere, senior executive
                                                                      recruiter at P.S. White Associates Inc., a sad-
                                                                      dle Brook-based finance and banking search
                                                                      firm. “The programs were aimed at grooming
                                                                      the best and the brightest to rise through the
                                                                      executive ranks.
                                                                           “But as the banking and financial envi-                            In the slow economy, many banks did away with formal
                                                                      ronment changed, many institutions cut back                             employee training to save on costs, instead hiring more
                                                                      or abandoned the programs, and instead                                  experienced employees. But as these employees retire
                                                                      focused on simply hiring people who already                             in a few years, banks worry there will be a much shorter
                                                                      had well-rounded experience.”                                           pipeline of qualified workers to replace them.
                                                                           Part of the reason was cost cutting, and
                                                                      part of it involved a desire to get experienced                         can get exposed to all of the bank’s operations.
                                                                      people who could “hit the ground running”                               It’s just done on an informal basis now.”
                                                                      and quickly respond to the rapidly changing                                    A decade-long “tailwind” that propelled
    WE DO THEM LOCALLY.                                               finance environment, casiere said.                                      the general economy meant banks didn’t have
   Are you waiting for someone in another state or time zone to get        “But it was also driven by a concern                               to worry about training the next generation of
                                                                      that after sinking a lot of money into train-                           leaders, said Alan J. Kaplan, ceo of Kaplan &
   back to you? Is your bank’s loan center processing applications    ing someone, the person would just jump to                              Associates Inc., a Philadelphia-based execu-
   from 50 states? Unlike nationwide banks, The Provident Bank        another bank,” she added. “But sooner or later,                         tive search firm that works with banks in new
   focuses on helping local businesses. We process all loan           the current ranks of executives will be retiring                        Jersey and elsewhere.
   applications right here in New Jersey – for a quicker decision.    — and you’ve got to have people available to                                   “In today’s turbulent times, some banks
                                                                      replace them.”                                                          are feeling the leadership pinch,” he said.
   Our commercial bankers are here, our loan center is here and            casiere calls it a “cyclical development,”                         “many of them have been looking outside for
   most imp
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