Magazine article American Banker

Good Reasons to Become A Bank Board Member -- and Some Bad Ones

Magazine article American Banker

Good Reasons to Become A Bank Board Member -- and Some Bad Ones

Article excerpt

Our latest contest for the presidency of the Schmidlap National Bank asked why people become bank directors.

Donald P. Crivellone, the principal of facilitation and strategic planning at M&I Data Services in Milwaukee, gave a succinct answer:

"Why do folks become directors?:

"Prestige. This is important to our egos, even though in almost every case director candidates have reached a reasonable level of success. It is a great recognition from peers already on the board.

"Networking and marketing. Because one has reached a level of success, one knows that to continue success, expanding and solidifying relationships is critical.

"Community service is a factor, but this need is better met through involvement with Junior Achievement, educational institutions, the Salvation Army, the opera, etc.

"If compensation enters into the equation, both the organization and the director are truly misguided."

Another interesting response came from a young banker in South Carolina whose job involves liquidating commercial loans. He asked to remain anonymous, but he revealed his dream of serving on the board of a bank or other financial institution. His reason:

"About a week before reading your column I was asking myself: Why do I have this goal?

"My answer may sound funny:

"I want to keep management honest and to keep them from taking advantage of shareholders and depositors by preventing huge bonuses and bad loans. I want to be recognized as being a wise and sensible director who can steer the institution through difficult times. …

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