Magazine article American Banker

ACB Chief's Early Priority: Cut Staff through Buyouts

Magazine article American Banker

ACB Chief's Early Priority: Cut Staff through Buyouts

Article excerpt

To shrink its staff, America's Community Bankers is scheduled today to begin offering voluntary buyouts. The national trade group for thrifts has shrunk nearly 13%, to 83 employees, since last summer.

"I need to get the numbers down," said Diane M. Casey, who became ACB president and chief executive officer on Jan. 1. "ACB is solvent. We have solid reserves," but the group recorded a loss of $100,000 last year on revenues of about $17 million.

"We want to make sure going forward we are breaking even," she said. "It has been profitable in the past, but we are also dealing in the reality of a consolidation in the industry. We want to make sure that we are at the right size to address the needs of our members."

Ms. Casey declined to say how many of employees ACB expects, or wants, to take the offer, which will be in effect for 45 days.

The move is part of a strategic plan ACB adopted a year ago but shelved when her predecessor, Paul A. Schosberg, announced his retirement and the group's merger with the American Bankers Association collapsed.

Feeding speculation that the ABA is after ACB's members, Paul Katz, ACB's former membership recruiter and liaison to state trade groups, has crossed enemy lines to take a similar position with the ABA.

Acknowledging a tug-of-war over membership, Ms. Casey downplayed Mr. Katz's departure as part of the normal game of musical chairs for employees among the trade groups here. Danielle French, who had worked with Mr. …

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