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Mountain Mama: Be prepared, be responsible

first_imgDear Mountain Biker,I am so sorry to read about the mountain biker’s death and extend my sympathy to his family. He died too young and many will mourn his untimely passing. For the rest of us, perhaps we will think a little more carefully about when we go into the wilderness and what we bring with us.Our gear list depends on a few variables, like where we’re going, what we’re doing, and how long we expect to be there. At the very least, we should all bring our common sense. And sometimes, the best decision we can make is to postpone our trip until we can go in more favorable weather conditions.The mountain biker in question went riding on trails after heavy rain and thunderstorms. According to a local bike shop salesman, the trails would have been “nearly unridable.”It boils down to personal responsibility. We should venture into the outdoors with an attitude (reflected in the gear we bring with us) that we’re prepared to handle what comes our way.We hone our common sense through experience, which will involve mistakes. Two weekends ago I paddled along Georgia’s coastline. The forecast called for seventy degree days and forty degree nights. After much debate, I brought my drysuit for paddling. I sweated the first day and paddled the second bare-chested (well, with a bikini top under my PFD).A front blew in the third day. Temperatures dropped. I dug my drysuit out, but I’d been sloppy in storing it, and my suit was wet inside.That night at camp, I unpacked my hatches to find my Therma-rest and down sleeping bag – both soaked. I barely slept, shivering most of the night. I’m used to paddling out West, where it doesn’t matter if gear gets wet – the sun dries gear in a matter of minutes. But in the Southeast, the high humidity makes drying anything a slow process. Besides, frequent rain showers means gear might get wet and stays that way. I had no idea what a bad idea it was to bring a down sleeping bag on the trip until I had to spend a night very cold.Luckily, the only consequence of my oversight was spending a very cold night camping on a beach in Georgia. We all make mistakes, and we can all aspire to doing a little better the next time around. That means carefully assessing the conditions, the route, and the weather. That assessment begins a conversation about the layers, maps, food and water, and other gear needed.Plan On,Mountain Mama What do you bring into the outdoors?Dear Mountain Mama,On yesterday’s ride, my friends couldn’t stop talking about the California mountain biker who set out for an 18-mile ride and never returned. Weather conditions were so terrible that rescue efforts were delayed until the next day. Rescuers found the guy dead, leaning against a hill and still sitting on his bike.I’ve gone on plenty of solo rides longer than that, and I never bring more than a few bars, water, and a tire repair kit. It seems overboard to plan every outing as if it could turn into an expedition.What should I bring into the wilderness?Thanks,Mountain Bikerlast_img read more

The use of loan growth as a bonus plan metric

first_imgCompensation surveys commonly rank loan growth as a key metric used in bonus plans for senior executives. This article explores the use of loan growth as a bonus plan metric for both federal credit unions and state-chartered credit unions in Nevada and California.NCUA’s Loan Growth Metric RulesThe NCUA Regulations state:Except as otherwise provided herein, no official or employee of a Federal credit union, or immediate family member of an official or employee of a Federal credit union, may receive, directly or indirectly, any commission, fee, or other compensation in connection with any loan made by the credit union.2The regulations go on to provide some important exceptions and clarifications:Payment of an incentive or bonus to an employee based on the credit union’s “overall financial performance” is permissible.3Bonus plans for loan officers based directly on loans are subject to a carve out for non-senior management4 incentives linked to loans, provided the board establishes written policies and internal controls for the plan and monitors them at least annually. 5As loans are the life blood of credit unions,6 loan growth plays a significant role in the credit union’s overall financial performance. To what extent, then, can a bonus plan for senior management employees use loan growth as a specific metric in its bonus plan formula?The rule on its face appears quite restrictive ― loan growth or other related loan metrics are “in connection with any loan made by the credit union” and cannot be used as metrics for bonus plans (other than for loan officers with the noted protections).7 ConclusionLoan growth is commonly used as a metric in bonus plans, and we believe that practice will continue. For federal credit unions, the NCUA’s regulation should be updated to reflect current practices that are in the best interest of the executives and the credit unions, and which are already allowed by federal regulators. This will give federal credit unions more predictability as they design and administer bonus plans, and create more uniformity in the regulation of bonus plans throughout the five NCUA regions. Federal credit unions should analyze their bonus plans and business plan for loan growth using questions along the lines of those set out above. State chartered credit unions in California and Nevada do not have the same statutory restrictions, but should consider addressing the questions set out above as a best practice. 1 Jim is a partner with Sherman & Patterson, Ltd., a law firm focusing on executive compensation in credit unions and other tax-exempt entities. Jim frequently interacts with the NCUA and state credit union regulators regarding the implementation and funding of executive and director benefits, keeping clients compliant with applicable regulations.2 NCUA Regulations §701.21(c)(8)(i).3 Id., at (c)(8)(iii)(B).4 Senior management employees are defined as the chief executive officer, assistant chief executive officers (e.g., assistant president, vice president or assistant treasurer/manager) and the chief financial officer. Id., at (c)(8)(ii). 5Id., at (c)(8)(iii)(C).6 65–70% of median income reported quarterly on Form 5300 since 2005.7 Furthermore, in the only public opinion we have found on this issue, the NCUA allowed a bonus plan to be “based solely on [the credit union’s] net return on average assets,” but not on the credit union’s “ratios of loans to assets and delinquency.” NCUA advisory opinion letter to Edward J. Gvazdinskas dated January 11, 1994. The letter interprets “underwriting, insuring, servicing or collecting a loan” to be covered by the restriction.8 However, NCUA’s 1994 advisory opinion letter to Edward J. Gvazdinskas provides that the loan rule applies to the special reserve required for federally insured state chartered credit unions, meaning they are at least indirectly subject to the federal standard.9 Cal. Fin. Code §14803(a).10 Id., at (b), (c). From our clients’ experience, however, we have learned that the seemingly black-and-white rules described above instead have various shades of gray in practice. As mentioned above, loan growth is widely used as a metric in bonus plans. We understand that when this issue comes up on exam, regulators look at various factors to analyze how the use of loan growth in the bonus plan affects risk levels for the credit union. The following are some examples of factors examiners would likely consider:Is there any evidence that senior managers are promoting unhealthy loan growth?Does the credit union have a healthy loan portfolio?Does the credit union have enough staff to handle loan growth?Are loans growing too quickly?Has the loan growth been a good thing for the credit union?Are there any loan concentration issues?Is there sufficient liquidity in the loan portfolio?How does the credit union’s loan portfolio compare to the portfolios of its peers?This type of review seems a fair balance between a credit union’s desire to focus senior executives on proper loan growth, and reward them for that focus with bonus compensation, and the regulators’ mission to assure safe and sound practices.We understand that the NCUA wants the rules on bonus plan metrics to match today’s marketplace, and is open to input from the industry. As luck would have it, the NCUA’s loan rules quoted above are up for review this year as part of the regularly scheduled regulatory review process. This is a good opportunity for interested parties to give the NCUA suggestions on how to structure the rules to allow for the use of loan growth as a metric without putting the credit union at risk.California/Nevada Loan Growth Metric RulesFor state-chartered credit unions, we can find no California or Nevada restrictions on paying bonuses for loan growth.8 The California statutes, in fact, indirectly endorse using loan growth as a metric.California has a statute addressing inducements for new memberships or additional deposits by current members. It provides:No credit union shall pay any commission or compensation to any person for securing a new member or for getting an existing member to make an additional deposit.The statute goes on, however, to exempt employees from the rule, allowing them to be paid for securing new members and getting current members to make additional deposits. The statute also allows credit unions to use membership growth as part of its compensation plan.This California statute is interesting because it takes a similar approach to membership restrictions as the NCUA took to loan metrics, but did not establish loan restrictions for compensation purposes. Presumably, if using loan growth were a concern for the California legislature, it would have followed the NCUA and added the same language to its loan provisions. This coverage in the membership section and lack of inclusion in the loan section gives us more confidence in this conclusion than if the statutes were silent on the issue.In analyzing bonus plans that use loan growth as a metric, we understand that state examiners would likely review the same standards used by NCUA examiners to determine whether the bonus plan creates proper incentives for executives to promote loan growth at the credit union. 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jim Patterson Jim is a partner with Sherman & Patterson, a law firm focusing in the areas of tax (e.g. 409A and 457(f)), nonqualified deferred compensation and employee benefits. Most … Web: splawfirm.net Detailslast_img read more

3 ways to engage millennial employees

first_imgLet’s talk about reality – the credit union movement is an older movement, and in some cases older founders are still engaged and involved in their institution. The first credit union society was formed in Germany in 1849, and it was in the early 1900s that North America saw this model replicated locally. Our movement was founded during a time where technology was non-existent, when towns still had important local buildings as gathering places, and communication was much slower. Our brick-and-mortar institutions have served us well over the years. At our small credit union, so many of our members tell us their first or best experience with a financial institution was at a credit union. The legacy we have built as an industry is strong and proud. It is also amazing how many members will go out of their way to use our services, even when we aren’t the most convenient providers.In the early-2000s, a company called ING Direct launched in the US. Its model was simple – deposit accounts were online, with a few ‘cafés’ throughout the country. It offered a slightly higher rate in exchange for lack of access to brick-and-mortar. It felt a bit revolutionary at the time, and I recall it even feeling a bit scary to send money to my account with them. ING Direct US was acquired by CapitalOne and is now the 8th largest U.S Bank by deposit accounts. The idea caught on – maybe bricks-and-mortar aren’t always the most important feature of a deposit account. But why are we talking about banks? Because the financial industry is still changing and evolving. Mobile apps, remote deposit capture, Virtual Tellers and Fintech are not going to go away. Brick-and-mortar is still relevant, but many leaders in the industry know that we need to engage millennials over the long term to stay sustainable. Millennials are the most connected generation, many having grown up always using technology. Our college students today can’t imagine not having a cell phone to communicate with friends. Millennials are more engaged, and more connected to social causes than prior generations. Credit unions, with our community orientation, can capitalize on this fact that the current generation entering the workforce wants to be socially responsible. This is our next generation of member, as well as what our next generation of manager, then later what our industry leaders and CEOs will look like. Diversity in staffing is important, and having multiple generations in the same workplace is a huge advantage to any organization. Older, experienced employees have expertise and skills that are invaluable to the stability of a credit union while younger employees can bring a fresh perspective and draw attention to rapidly changing industry trends. Therefore, it’s important to have an engaged organization where sharing and learning happens and employees can learn from the best of what each generation has to offer.Make Sure Employees are Engaging Cross-Departmentally: Organizational silos prevent learning. They also prevent understanding of the challenges that your teammates are facing. Do the best you can to have departments (even if you are very small) engage other departments in the process of product launches, collections, member-onboarding, and general operations. Ideas come from communicating across perspectives.Allow Staff to Cross-Train in Areas Outside their Roles: While it is important for isolation of duties for dual-control purposes, people often find they have strengths in areas of interest. If your credit union is larger, consider establishing a mentor program between veteran employees and new employees. Younger employees may be interested in figuring out what their long term career interests are and enjoy the opportunity to learn about opportunities to growth within the organization or industry.Provide Opportunities for Autonomous Decision Making within Boundaries: All credit unions are guided by policy and compliance requirements, and we all must be responsive to regulatory changes. However, whenever and wherever possible, give creative control to staff. Give some flexibility in decisions about member service, and have a platform for employee feedback. Give newer employees to the industry to stretch and make mistakes within appropriate boundaries.Creating an organization committed to growth requires a willingness to change. In smaller organizations, it is often observed that a role becomes defined by the strengths and skills of the individual managing the responsibility. A job description can evolve based on what one individual can bring to the table. The industry is changing. We must preserve the important legacy that our founders have left us, but we must also recognize where we need to change in order to remain relevant. New voices and new faces provide the opportunity to think differently, and we can develop a strong onboarding program for our younger employees. 73SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall is a consultant in the credit union industry, and can be reached for partnership and speaking opportunities through Your Credit Union Partner. Her background in community development includes … Web: https://yourcupartner.org Detailslast_img read more

6 steps for effective crisis leadership

first_imgMaurice Smith Just as crises come in all shapes and sizes, there is a leader within everyone.“Leadership doesn’t just reside with the CEO,” says Maurice Smith president of Local Government Federal Credit Union and Civic Federal Credit Union, both in Raleigh, N.C. “We want to be more resilient than that. We want leadership at different levels so when a challenge arises, we have more people ready to meet that challenge.”During the 2020 CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Virtual Conference Collection, Smith outlined six steps leaders should take to be prepared to meet the next crisis head-on:1. Tap into personal testimony. Pay attention to how others react to a crisis. You’ll see examples of people who successfully navigate a crisis along with those who react badly, and you’ll gain insights on how you can react productively and not create additional challenges, Smith says.“You can’t ignore who you are as an individual and what you learned outside the walls of the credit union,” Smith says. “Tap into that testimony. It will be useful in a crisis.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrcenter_img continue reading »last_img read more

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Jokowi criticizes lackluster management of potential $116b foreign investments

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has criticized what he claims is the lackluster management of potential foreign investments amounting to Rp 1.6 quadrillion (US$116.8 billion) to date.“It’s a tremendous figure, it’s almost the same as the national state budget. However, it has never been managed properly,” Jokowi said in his speech at the National Investment Coordination Meeting in Jakarta on Thursday.The President went on to say that Indonesia no longer needed to lure in new investors, given the considerable number of potential investments that the country had already managed to attract — but only if all could be realized.  Furthermore, he noted that there were investment projects worth Rp 708 trillion that had been stalled in the country due to a number of factors last year. Read also: BKPM promises to ‘debottleneck’ $50b stalled investment projects“I call on every regional head, every PTSP [One-Stop Integrated Service] head to serve [all investors]. If there’s any issue, please help them resolve it. They can create so many new jobs for our people,” Jokowi said.He said that doubling down on the investment front was a surefire way to create job opportunities for the roughly seven million unemployed citizens across the country.Jokowi said the state budget contributed only 16 percent to the country’s economic growth. The figure increases to 23 percent if the state budget is combined with the budgets of regional administrations.The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.02 percent last year, lower than the 5.17 percent recorded in 2018.As the second-largest contributor to GDP after household spending, investments expanded 4.06 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than 6.01 percent growth booked in the same period in 2018, Statistics Indonesia data shows.Topics :last_img read more

Jakarta bar Amigos visited by COVID-19 patient suspends operation amid virus fears

first_imgAmigos Bar and Cantina in Kemang, South Jakarta, has decided to suspend its operation for 14 days as a precautionary measure to stop spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Fears about the outbreak surged after a woman was declared positive for COVID-19 after spending an evening at Amigos on Feb. 14. At the bar, the woman interacted with a Japanese national who was later found to have the illness as well.“We have to keep up the healthy environment of the location. We have been in business for 40 years. Amigos always maintains the safety of the employees and the customers,” Mulles Ron, founder of Amigos, said as quoted by antaranews.com. He said local health agency officers had come to examine the employee and screen the food and drink to make sure that Amigos was free of the virus so that the public could regain confidence in the business.“We have invited a team from the health agency as well as private professionals to confirm the health environment in Amigos restaurant,” he said.Read also: WHO calls for calm after Indonesia confirms cases of COVID-19He said the restaurant had also provided hand sanitizers for the employees and the customers.“We hope that the public will not panic. The employees here are all healthy,” he said.Agus, the manager of Amigos, said that so far there were no employees who complained of being sick. He said there were 30 people working in the restaurant, including himself.Amigos Bar and Cantina is located in the Kemang Villa Club on Jl. Kemang Selatan, Bangka subdistrict, South Jakarta. The Mexican-themed restaurant has been in operation since 1979. (gis)Topics :last_img read more

Mnuchin predicts US economic ‘bounce back’ as pandemic spending rises

first_img‘Grave situation’ “Make no mistake, it’s a really grave situation,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.””This is the biggest negative shock that our economy, I think, has ever seen. We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that we saw during the Great Depression.”Hassett said debt levels have reached a point where “it can be a long-term negative for growth,” and should be dealt with along with short-term stimulus in the next phase of legislative action.”Again, you have to understand that this is an unprecedented shock to the economy, that we’re going to be looking at second-quarter negative GDP growth that’s probably north of minus 15, minus 20 percent.”It’s the biggest negative shock that we’ve seen since the Second World War, and with that kind of emergency, the good news is we’ve got this bipartisan action, this build-a-bridge-to-the-other-side, but there’s still going to be a heck of a lot of other problems that pop up.” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted Sunday the US economy will come roaring back even amid warnings from another White House adviser of longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic’s unprecedented shock to the economy.Mnuchin’s upbeat assessment came amid skyrocketing unemployment figures and forecasts predicting a deep contraction in economic activity this year.In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Mnuchin defended the soaring deficit spending as key to reviving the economy, even amid rising signs of Republican pushback in Congress. In a related aside, he said the administration was considering loans to troubled energy companies, but insisted there would be no shareholder bailouts.”I think as we begin to reopen the economy in May and June you’re going to see the economy really bounce back in July, August, September,” he said.”And we are putting in an unprecedented amount of fiscal relief into the economy. You’re seeing trillions of dollars that’s making its way into the economy, and I think this is going to have a significant impact.”Congress this week passed a new $483 billion economic relief bill, adding to the massive $2.2 trillion emergency package passed in mid-March. Another big package, this one for struggling state and local governments, is under discussion.But resistance to more spending appears to be growing among some Republicans, exemplified by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s suggestion this week that it would be preferable for states to file for bankruptcy.McConnell’s comments were angrily denounced by Democratic and some Republican governors, and have so far not been echoed by the White House.”As I’ve said, this is a war. We’ll win this war,” Mnuchin said. “If we need to spend more money we will, and we’ll only do it with bipartisan support.”The secretary brushed off concerns that the national debt is expected to exceed GDP this year.”We’re going to need to look at, over time, how we deal with that issue,” he said. “But right now we’re in a war and we have to protect American workers and American business. And we’re going to do whatever we need to take to do that.”White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett, however, warned in a separate television appearance that the impact of the pandemic has been so severe, with some 26 million people filing for unemployment benefits so far, that it could have long-term effects. Topics :last_img read more

KPK criticized for official car procurement plan

first_imgIndonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) activist Kurnia Ramadhana said the plan to purchase official cars showed the deterioration of the antigraft body’s integrity under Firli’s leadership. He called the procurement “unethical” because it was occurring during the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.“As leaders of an anticorruption institution, they should understand and be sensitive to our current situation caused by the outbreak, which has devastated the economy,” Kurnia said in a statement on Friday.He added that the plan was part of a long list of “hedonistic” practices by current KPK leaders, following a recent brouhaha surrounding Firli’s use of a private helicopter service for a personal trip in June.The KPK supervisory council found Firli guilty of violating the comission’s code of ethics in September for the taking the helicopter trip – the first time a KPK chair has faced such a sanction. Watchdogs and a former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) commissioner have criticized the antigraft body’s recent move to procure cars for its high-ranking officials and supervisory board members, saying the plan is “against the commission’s values”.The House of Representatives recently approved the KPK’s budget for 2021, which includes a plan to procure official cars for the agency’s commissioners and other high-ranking officials.While the budget for the vehicles has yet to be determined, it was previously reported that the KPK had allocated Rp 1.45 billion (US$98,209) for a new car for chairman Firli Bahuri and Rp 1 billion each for cars other commissioners. Read also: Watchdogs’ grim report says KPK has ‘lost public trust’ in six months under FirliFormer KPK commissioner Bambang Widjojanto also criticized the procurement, saying it was in contrast to the commission’s public image as an efficient and effective institution that upheld sensible values.“[Expensive cars] are inefficient and ineffective because they don’t directly improve the quality of the country’s graft eradication campaign,” said Bambang, who served as KPK commissioner from 2011 to 2015.KPK supervisory council chair Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean said the council would reject the official cars. He claimed the council members were not involved in the decision to purchase the cars.“We never suggested the procurement of official cars for us. We don’t know where the proposal came from,” Tumpak said on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.During a press briefing on Friday, KPK secretary-general Cahya Harefa defended the plan, saying official cars were necessary to support the KPK’s high-ranking officials in carrying out their duties.However, he said the commission would reevaluate the plan in response to public criticism by discussing its 2021 budget with the National Development Agency (Bappenas) and the Finance Ministry. Cahya said spending for the cars would follow the government’s standard.“Currently, all high-ranking officials are given transportation benefits that are included in their monthly paycheck,” said Cahya. “If the plan for official cars is approved for next year, they won’t receive the transportation benefits anymore.”Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal face stiff competition in race for Newcastle’s Matty Longstaff on free transfer

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterMonday 23 Mar 2020 1:53 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.4kShares Arsenal face stiff competition in race for Newcastle’s Matty Longstaff on free transfercenter_img Matty Longstaff has attracted the attention of clubs across Europe (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal are one of a number of clubs ready to pounce and snap up Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff on a free transfer this summer, with the youngster’s contract set to expire at the end of the season.The 20-year-old made his debut for the Magpies this season and has scored three goals in nine appearances for Steve Bruce’s side.His elder brother Sean already established his place in the Newcastle side last season, but Matty burst onto the scene in October, scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.He may not have played much, but such have been the level of his performances that he has gained admirers across the continent, with Newcastle unable to agree a new contract with him.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTArsenal are considering snapping up the young midfielder, but the Sun credits an incredible list of teams across Europe with wanting to do the same.Everton, West Ham, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Club Brugge, Inter Milan and Atalanta are all thought to be monitoring Longstaff’s situation and considering making him an offer in the summer.A compensation fee would need to be paid, but it would only be around £400,000, which would tempt clubs into the signing which would be almost no gamble at all at that price.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityOlder brother Sean has also been strongly linked with a Newcastle exit, with Manchester United showing serious interest last summer, but the Magpies set an asking price of £50m for the 22-year-old, who has a contract until 2022.Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is still hoping that both Longstaff brothers will sign new contracts and extend their stays at St James’ Park.‘Look, we always want to keep your best young players, especially if they’re Geordies, of course,’ said Bruce last month,‘Let’s hope they both get tied up.’Negotiations have continued, but club and the player’s representatives cannot agree on terms as yet.MORE: Arsenal vow to pay all staff until end of April despite no Premier League footballMORE: Gabriel Martinelli sets out ambitious trophy targets for his Arsenal careerFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisementlast_img read more