Anat Bird, who built a prominent bank consulting practice by championing the "super community" management strategy, has been named to the No. 2 job at Roosevelt Financial Group in St. Louis.
As senior executive vice president and chief operating officer, Ms. Bird will be responsible for all operations and strategic planning for both the holding company and its thrift subsidiary, Roosevelt Bank.
She said she was drawn to the opportunity by Stanley J. Bradshaw, the president and chief executive, who is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the industry's most dynamic.
"He is an out-of-the-box thinker whose vision presents a unique opportunity to apply and share the insights I have gained," Ms. Bird said in an interview.
Mr. Bradshaw announced the appointment Thursday, concurrently with the $9.1 billion-asset Roosevelt's annual meeting.
The 38-year-old chief executive said he was proud that "someone of Ms. Bird's stature ... thought enough of Roosevelt to join us on the same basis as our other senior executives - with financial incentives tying much of her compensation to the future performance of Roosevelt's common stock."
The share price is around $16, 20 times earnings.
"Adding Ms. Bird's expertise and vision to the management team will enhance our ability to identify and capitalize on opportunities in a rapidly changing financial services marketplace," Mr. Bradshaw said.
Ms. Bird confirmed what Mr. Bradshaw implied: that a rapidly growing company - it had only $2 billion of assets in 1990 - is out to "build franchise value" on a base of 79 offices serving 300,000 households in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas.
Joseph Stieven, senior banking analyst at Stifel Nicolaus in St. Louis, said Mr. Bradshaw is wise to beef up the management team after its spate of acquisitions. The analyst said Mr. Bradshaw and Ms. Bird are both strong personalities, and the CEO's operating background should mesh well with Ms. Bird's strategic expertise.
Ms. Bird said she wants to instill super community principles, a mix of centralized operations and administrative functions with autonomy for local and business-line executives.
She writes frequently on the subject in American Banker and elsewhere, and serves as editor-in-chief of Community Banker, a quarterly published by Business One/Irwin. She said she intends to continue the writing and speaking to industry forums.
She will keep the title of chairman of Finexc Group, the New York-based consulting firm that she formed last year. Her partner, president Jeffrey Lynn, said Ms. Bird's move "is recognition and acknowledgment of (the firm's) industry leadership and exemplifies the contributions we can make to all our clients."
Finexc continues with 25 professionals led by Mr. Lynn, the noted bank analyst David Cates, and David Martin, who recently joined from BEI/Golembe.
Ms. Bird, 43, a native of Israel, has degrees from Hebrew University and American University and a strategic planning diploma from the Wharton School. Over the last 20 years she worked for Marine Midland Bank, Arthur Young & Co., and BDO Seidman, and has been developing the super community ideas for the last five to seven years.