Greetings all,

By November 9, we'll have elected a new President, interest rates may be one notch higher, and pressure on our margins and expenses will be as tough or tougher than they are now.

No matter who wins the election, 2017 will be about "do more, with less." We'll be seeking to squeeze every ounce of productivity from our investments in people, processes, and partnerships, both inside and outside the bank.

So that's the theme of our conference this year: Productivity and Partnerships.

This year, we'll focus our discussions in three areas:

  • People and Productivity - We'll address three major issues - attracting, developing, and retaining young talent; increasing the daily productivity of our front office and back office colleagues; and filling the experience gap we face as Baby Boomers retire in great numbers.
  • Innovation and Partnerships - Discussions will focus on the focus and sources of innovation, crafting and leveraging internal partnerships (across lines of business) to serve small businesses; and vetting, selecting, and managing relationships with external partners, particularly alternative lenders and fintech companies.
  • Profitable Financing - Spreads are thin. Alternatives (from crowd funding to fintech) abound. Possibly there's a recession ahead... and significant increases in interest rates not likely ('though some bumps are possible). Discussions will focus on streamlining and refining scoring models and adjudication processes; identifying and managing portfolio risk; building and expanding SBA financing capability; and partnering with alternative lenders.

And, what better place to ponder productivity and partnerships than Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at the PGA National Resort and Spa where we'll be provided some of the best weather and food on the planet and, after the Conference, at least 44 other things to. The vendor hall will feature familiar faces and new ones and more than the usual cheese, crackers, and crudités.

Looking forward to seeing you at the conference, .

Nicholas T. Miller
Conference Chairman
President, Clarity Advantage