Relationships, Revenue and Reality

by Deborah Bernot and Patti Branco

April 2005

Are you finally ready to consider an investment program in your bank or credit union? Do you have an existing financial institution investment program that needs a tune up, or is ready to be taken to the next level?

If you answered ‘no’ you may be sending your business down the street.
Today investments can be purchased at almost every bank or credit union, most insurance agents and even tax preparation firms like H&R block.

Recent studies show that over 60% of Americans have some form of investment-so isn’t it time to make sure you are offering alternative investments as a core product?

The fear of disintermediation has been replaced by savvy and talented registered reps who can actually help you increase your deposits.

Sales is no longer a dirty word because ‘selling’ is the primary tool needed to expand your relationships with your customers, thereby reducing the possibility of household erosion as they head to the competition.

It is interesting to note that a study done by Callahan and Associates over 85% of the participants said they would prefer to do ALL of their financial business at their bank or credit union…and…only 65% of that group knew that investments were available when they were.

The installation of a full service investment program can add revenue and make your institution truly full service, offer career opportunities to your employees and more importantly, provide all the tools and products your customers or members need to earn more income, save on taxes or grow their money for retirement.

There are as many business models as there are financial institutions. A proper assessment of your current situation and your client base, demographics and your bank or credit unions personal choices can direct you to the model best suited for your team.

Dedicated reps, Full time? Dedicated reps with licensed platform reps in each branch? Platform reps only? Call center reps? Insurance specialists?, Retirement specialists? In house management or fully managed turnkey program? Fully integrated investment programs are often a combination of all the above.

Platforms are business models that include branch employees who are licensed to offer annuities, and sometimes both annuities and mutual funds. Often considered dual employees- they wear two hats…providing standard bank services as well as investments sales and services. They may work with the full services rep or be a completely different unit. The upside is more revenue and an opportunity to have someone on hand continually to meet customer’s investment needs.

We can help you in every aspect of your business development and show you how to create a world class investment program.

Deborah Bernot is former President of Cal Fed Investments, who successfully managed an investment and insurance program of over 1,200 licensed representatives. Patti Branco has a 20 year track record of sales and program management. Deborah and Patti have joined forces to create EX Consultants, an association designed to provide banks and credit unions with the benefit of their combined experience.

Deborah Bernot (916) 698-0055 DebBernot@aol.com
Patti Branco (805) 671-9998 or PatBranco@aol.com

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