Tailoring Executive Benefits to the Executive and the Credit Union

By David Frankil, President, Burns-Fazzi, Brock and Associates

Some people are lucky enough to be able to walk into a store, pick a nice suit off the rack, maybe have the sleeves adjusted and the cuffs hemmed, and walk out with something that fits them perfectly.

My experience is more like major surgery, but when done right the suit looks great.

The same is true for executive benefits – some rare executives and their credit unions are fortunate enough to have a set of circumstances and needs that allow them to take something basic and off-the-shelf.  But more often they end up with their proverbial arms sticking out and socks visible with cuffs four inches off the floor.  What they really need is a more complex mix of solutions that are tailor-made for them.

Where we see credit union executives considering (or stuck in) ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions, it is usually because there is a misperception that credit union executives can only have one type of executive benefit.  In other words, they think they have to pick just one from a long list that includes 457(b), 457(f), Split-Dollar Plans, Invested Retirement Plans, and others.

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Aligning CU Executive Incentives With CU Goals and Member Needs

By David Frankil, President, Burns-Fazzi, Brock and Associates

Dr. Jack Clark from Clark Research Associates presented the results of the 2014 NAFCU-BFB Executive Compensation and Benefits Survey at this summer’s NAFCU Annual Conference.  There were many tidbits in the presentation, but one topic caught my eye – the wide variety of incentives that Boards have used to create bonus plans for top executives.

The topic of how incentives affect behavior is far from new – go back to freshman-year economics and Adam Smith –

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.”

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Vol 1, March 9, 1776

Just as water finds its own level, economic activity naturally seeks its highest and most efficient use.  That’s not to say that the greater good is subverted to individual self-interest, rather that well-designed compensation models effectively align individual incentives with desired outcomes that benefit the credit union, its members and top executives.

On that we can probably all agree – but what are the metrics and desired outcomes that will create optimal goal alignment?  To use a baseball analogy, home runs are great – but rewarding players just based on home runs would result in tons of shortstops and second basemen batting .075 as they swung from the heels every time up at the plate.  You’d have a hard time finding anyone who wanted to pitch too.

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The Top 5 Myths about Executive Benefits

Guest post written by Christine Burns-Fazzi, Principal, Burns-Fazzi, Brock.

Burns-Fazzi, Brock (BFB) is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Executive Compensation and Benefit Consulting.

There is a lot of mystery swirling around executive benefits. A well-designed  plan does more than pay for performance and longevity, or provide the ability to offer supplemental retirement benefits to key executives. While executive benefit plans are designed to recruit, reward, and retain senior executives, they are also arranged to have a positive impact on the credit union’s earnings. Of course, all of this must be accomplished with a constant eye on federal and state regulations.

While we all can agree on what an executive benefit plan is, it is equally as important to note what an executive benefit plan is not. Here are the top five common myths about executive benefit plans:

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One Thousand Pound Pumpkins Don’t Grow By Chance (Nor Do Executive Benefit Plans)!

Guest post written by Tyler Quigley, National Director of Marketing, Burns-Fazzi, Brock (BFB). Tyler and his family tend their field of dreams in Mountain Green, Utah.

 

Burns-Fazzi, Brock (BFB) is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Executive Compensation and Benefit Consulting.

As you may recall, my last blog post in August compared growing giant pumpkins to growing a world-class executive benefit plan. I wanted to follow up with an update on how the 2013 season ended up for me and my family. Well, it turned out very successfully with a 1,238 pound pumpkin!! This weight was good enough for a first place finish at our Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers annual weigh-off which was held last Saturday.

Have you ever seen a 1,238 pound pumpkin before?

A few takeaways from this season (that work equally for both pumpkin growing *and* for growing an executive benefit plan):

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