David M. Hilton, president of D. Hilton Associates, Inc., The Woodlands, TexasHilton pointed to a growing need to replace retiring executives in the credit union industry, especially in the larger institutions.There have been 65 retirements of CEOs in the [$500-million-plus asset] category in 2014 and 2015 and it looks like there will be more in 2016, he said. C-suite executives are not getting any younger.Hilton further said that most C-suite executives are specialists as opposed to generalists and, consequently, do not necessarily make the best CEOs.In addition, retirement packages at many credit unions make it difficult for top executives to be moved. He pointed out that more than 56% of all CEOs at credit unions of between $400 million and $600 million in asset size have supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs); while 65% of all CEOs at credit unions between than $600-million and $1 billion in assets have SERPs; and 77% of all CEOs at credit unions above $1 billion in assets have SERPs. Also, he cited, between 20% and 30% of all C-suite executives at credit unions over $600 million in asset size have some kind of SERP as well. Its hard for them to make a job change, Hilton commented.Hilton further warned that credit unions need to look past their CEO and to their second in command executives for retention purposes. If they dont take care of their number twos, they could leave for another job, he said. They need retention (i.e, SERPS) if the board wants them to stay. And this appears to be something credit unions are responding to. Indeed, Hilton cited that of the last 65 replacements at the CEO position at credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets, 59 have been number twos (c-suite executives from their own credit union or c-suite executives from other credit unions).In a recent SERP Survey released by Hilton Associates, Hilton wrote: CEO succession planning is one of the most significant challenges facing the credit union industry today. An aging workforce and the shortage of available CEO talent are issues that weigh heavily on the minds of most credit union boards of directors.Thus, succession planning, he asserted, will remain a top priority for the financial services industry, especially since the baby boomer generations retirements have yet to peak.By understanding how the environment of the industry has changed, Hilton added, a credit union board can be prepared for the departure of their CEO by being familiar with their optionswhether that is selecting an internal candidate or recruiting from outside the organization.