Banking industry officials are bracing for a wave of change in leadership as bank presidents and chief executives age and prepare to retire.
The issue of an exiting work force of boomers and older employees is a long-standing problem facing the industry, said Colin Barrett, membership services director for the Tennessee Banking Association, which is meeting this week in Chattanooga.
“We are going to see a large turnover here in the next 10 years in the industry and expect to see the next generation of leaders take the president and CEO positions in the banks,” Mr. Barrett said on Monday.
With the challenges facing the industry, there is no better time to focus on preparing the next generation of bankers, said Monte McBee, director of the Young Bankers Division of the Tennessee Bankers Association.
“They’re the new leadership for the future,” he said. “(The convention) is a good stepping stone for the young bankers.”
Mr. McBee, vice president of Peoples State Bank of Commerce in South Pittsburg, Tenn., and about 170 other bankers from over the state have gathered in the city for TBA’s annual Leadership Convention. The three-day event, sponsored by the Young Bankers Division of the TBA, was held at The Chattanoogan hotel and wraps up today.
Several sessions over the weekend targeted the work force concern, addressing issues such as communication between different generations.
During a session Monday, organizational development consultant Kip L. Lilly discussed different strategies for members of the baby boomer generation to communicate with their generation X co-workers.
The sessions also introduced new methods of management training, which are necessary to prepare overall skill sets for the next generation of banking leaders, said Greg Crihfield, president of the Young Bankers Division and senior vice president of Lauderdale County Bank in Ripley, Tenn.
The current problems in the economy — which Mr. Crihfield said he expected to continue through 2008 — have not had any effect on recruiting in the banking industry.
Patti Steele, president of Chattanooga-based First Volunteer Bank, agreed, but said it was up to those in the industry now to push banking as a career.
“There are so many options as people begin careers,” she said.
In working to prepare the next generation of leaders, the Leadership Convention also focuses on financial literacy for future generations of bank customers, Mr. Barrett said.
Ms. Steele received an award for First Volunteer’s Personal Economics Program, which goes into area schools to teach students the basics of financial literacy.
“If we are going to teach future generations to save, we’ve got to start today,” she said.