Many ask us what our “sweet spot” is. Our answer: strategic planning and business planning. It has always been and will continue to be our core service to banks. For A.G. Newcomb, strategic planning was the primary service offering when the firm was founded, and continues to this day. It is the cornerstone of our reputation because it is our primary focus. Our founder, Anita Newcomb, is considered one of the foremost experts on regional and community banking business models and trends in the U.S. We have worked with scores of regional and community banks across the U.S. in developing the right competitive strategy for their bank in their markets for this environment.
Strategic planning is a process that A.G. Newcomb has honed from our experience of working with many bank senior management teams and Boards in developing competitive business strategy that creates sustainable, profitable growth. We have worked with regional and community banks ranging in size from $50 billion to as small as $100 million. We also work with business units within larger banks to create a strategic plan that is aligned with the corporate plan.
Our proprietary approach provides the framework for a customized process to meet clients’ varying needs. Our proven process is a deliberate, interactive and participative approach that promotes a sense of ownership and commitment by senior management and the Board as a shared vision and strategic road-map are developed.
A.G. Newcomb works alongside your team, bringing an outside perspective of best practices, industry-wide trends, and innovative strategies. We facilitate frank, open discussion throughout every phase and build consensus at every step. In the end, the intangibles gained are as important as the plan itself–clarity, focus, consensus and commitment.
Because each organization is different, we never pretend to know all the answers. Instead, we begin by interviewing the executive and senior management team and Board and reviewing internal and external financial and business information to get a comprehensive understanding of your company. We assess the current external environment—national and local economy, industry trends and performance, and competition.
We work with senior management and the Board to develop a clear and powerful vision for the future defining the bank’s competitive strategy, scope of business and financial performance expectations.
A practical strategic roadmap is developed with the management team to bridge where you are today with where you want to be in the future. This includes indication of executive ownership of strategies and key performance indicators to measure progress in achieving the bank’s vision. Financial projections aligned with the vision and strategies are developed as part of the strategic plan.
We also work with management in determining how best to roll out the plan to employees and strategies for keeping the plan alive throughout the year.
See Case Studies for examples of engagements.
At times banks must develop a regulatory business plan associated with a regulatory enforcement action, mutual-to-stock conversion, or other regulatory application.
A.G. Newcomb prepares comprehensive formal business plans in accordance with Interagency Guidelines as published by regulatory agencies. We are very familiar with these Guidelines as our expert consultants have completed hundreds of business plans.
A.G. Newcomb performs a thorough review of the bank to understand existing operations and business lines, organization design, financial performance, business strategy, corporate governance, markets and competition. A comprehensive business plan is then developed including financial projections. Should any questions arise from the regulators regarding the submitted business plan, we work with our client to address regulator questions until resolved.
A.G. Newcomb has many years of experience in facilitating strategic Board retreats. Typically, strategic Board retreats are part of the more comprehensive strategic planning process with which A.G. Newcomb has been engaged to assist. However, banks may desire to utilize an independent outside expert to only facilitate the strategic Board retreat, bringing an expert perspective on industry trends and regional and community bank business models and best practices.
We have found each retreat is unique based upon the needs of the bank. We will work with the Chairman and CEO to define the expectations for the retreat and desired outcomes.
Depending on the bank’s expectations, we often present an assessment of the external environment including the national and local economy, industry performance and trends, and competition within the bank’s markets. Often we are asked to facilitate a discussion on the bank’s current and expected financial performance. This day may also include discussion on the vision for the bank. We are skilled in adapting to and facilitating the agreed upon agenda achieving the desired outcomes for the day.
Our many years of working with scores of banks around the country have informed our knowledge of banking trends, and regional and community bank business models and best practices, in addition to our extensive contacts in the industry. Banks may have a unique need in which they desire specific advice and counsel. Some examples of these special situations are:
Should your bank need an independent evaluation or analysis with regard to a strategic decision or development, we will first discuss your bank’s current situation, desired outcomes and timing to ensure that we are in alignment with your expectations. After discussing our approach and methodology, we will work closely with you and your team to achieve the desired outcomes.