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Given the timing of this edition of Stellar Insights, we decided to focus on issues that may be helpful as you start thinking about strategic planning for the upcoming budgeting season. It will be here before you know it!

The articles in this edition are based on topics generated from our clients and prospects as well as input from select strategic partners. Regardless of whom we spoke to, the list seems to be consistent. The four areas of focus are core deposits, overdraft fee income, market disruption and growing profitable auto loan portfolios. In each case, we will attempt to share best practices based on our client experiences as well as evolving market conditions that are driving change.

We are excited to have two guest contributors in this edition that I consider industry experts in their field. Richard (Dick) Miller, from John M. Floyd & Associates, will be sharing best practices related to the value of a well-managed overdraft program. Dick’s 37 years of industry experience on non-interest income growth gives him a wealth of experience to shape his point-of-view.

In addition, we are extremely fortunate to have one of the most successful investment bankers in the industry who brings over 35 years of investment banking experience to the table. Roger G. Powell will be sharing his thoughts on a topic every community banker needs to consider in today’s world — disruption. Market disruption, due to branch consolidation and expanded M&A activity, offers tremendous growth potential to those community banking institutions that monitor future activity and react aggressively when the marketing opportunity arises.

Finally, we have a big announcement to make. In September, we will launch in support of our Stellar Auto Loans product. We made the decision late last year to expand our support of our auto loan refinance clients by launching our own branded website.

This new site affords us a unique opportunity to utilize digital, social, print, radio, and cable in our marketing efforts to drive a much higher volume of very profitable auto loan applications for our clients. At the same time, it provides a valuable and much-needed community service to consumers (through savings on monthly auto loan payments) in client markets. Please visit our site and tell us what you think. After all, we built it for you!

We sincerely thank Dick Miller and Roger Powell for taking the time to contribute to this edition of Stellar Insights.

Enjoy this edition of Stellar Insights !

Craig Simmers
Founder of Stellar Strategic Group

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