|"I have exceptional ethical standards and have been running a successful, award-winning technology company for 7 years. One of my passions is mentoring within Alberta's business community. I have substantial board, merger & acquisition, technology, strategic planning and HR experience, all of which would be valuable to Servus."|
Statement of intent
I am applying to run for the Servus Credit Union Board of Directors. I strongly feel that I meet all of the qualifications for a director and would have a significantly positive impact on the Board’s future performance. I have been a credit union member, both personally and professionally, for years and have a firm grasp on the requirements of a credit union board member. Personally, I have exceptional ethical standards and have been running a successful, award-winning technology company as director and CEO for over seven years.
One of my passions is mentoring within the business community in Alberta through sponsorship of grassroots entrepreneurial workshops and conferences. Additionally, I have an MBA from the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) and prior to my current position worked in investment banking and private equity on both the buy and sell side in Canada, demonstrating substantial financial acumen. Additionally, I have substantial board, merger and acquisition, technology, strategic planning and human resources experience, all of which would be valuable to Servus. I look forward to being an active participant in the Servus board election process and then, if elected, to be a participant on Servus’s board.
Servus’s vision is “Servus Credit Union builds a better world – one member at a time.” As a director, what would you see as your most important contribution to achieving this vision?
The importance of Servus’s vision is how it recognizes the impact of thinking globally and acting locally. My strength as a director would be to bring my experience and knowledge from the global business arena directly to an organization that has the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way. I have had the opportunity to “think global” about finance, economics, technology, information security and strategy in my career and would be passionate about being empowered to “act locally” in an organization such as Servus. I’d actively engage the board and Servus management in both current and future plans to ensure a stable credit union system for members by ensuring risk is managed, technology is future-proofed and financial strategies are sound. My contribution would be to ensure the foundation is there for Servus to continue serving member owners for the next 80 years.
What distinguishes a credit union from the chartered banks?
The major difference between a credit union and a chartered bank is that a credit union is fundamentally owned by the people who use the services of the credit union. Members of a credit union are also owners, which is highlighted by members purchasing a common share of the credit union upon opening a new account. Chartered banks are owned by shareholders who receive dividends based on the distributable net income of the bank, and the bank’s board of directors is ultimately responsible to those shareholders and not to all bank customers. Credit unions offer profit share, which distributes dividends to all credit union members based on the share of financial services that they have with the credit union. A credit union board of directors is ultimately responsible to all members. Another large difference is that the credit union democratically elects the board of directors comprised of member-owner candidates.
What are the key issues or challenges facing the financial services industry today and how could Servus deal with them?
There are many key issues facing the financial services industry, however, one thread holds them all together: technology. Technology continues to advance quickly, shaping and reshaping how members interact with their financial institutions. New technologies emerging which have the potential to disrupt the way financial services are deployed. Whether that is block chain and its impact on fintech security, artificial intelligence or robo-advisors in wealth management or more common issues such as mobile apps and teller-less branches, technological changes can’t be ignored. Servus, in its position as one of Canada’s largest credit unions, can ensure that it keeps abreast of all of the technology advancements, enacting a “fast follower” methodology to keep members safe and secure while ensuring that technology isn’t adopted for its own sake. Technology needs to make our member’s lives better and Servus is in an excellent position to take a strong leadership role for credit unions.
What knowledge, skills and experience would you add to the collective board team to help Servus Credit Union into the future?
I have a wide range of experiences that I feel would be applicable to Servus’s board but specifically my deep financial background as evidenced by my MBA from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, with a specialization in finance; my experience on both the buy and sell side in investment banking and investment management; and my board-level work specifically around merger and acquisition in multiple organizations, industries and jurisdictions globally would set me apart from other potential candidates. Additionally, for the last seven years I have been CEO and executive director of the e-commerce technology start-up that I co-founded. That experience has allowed me to gain insight into many facets of starting and running an innovative, technology-oriented, finance-related company. Those skills include strategic planning, management of people and organizations and financing as well as managing ongoing growth in a complex regulatory/legal environment.