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Jul 23, 2014 12:30:00 PM

Am I Paying Too Much for This Deal?

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A’s) represent a great opportunity to increase the value of your bank and to achieve quick growth. For those reasons, there continues to be a rise in the number of M&A deals. In truth, a successful M&A deal can be a great way to help your bank realize its full potential. Yet, there are probably as many instances in which a M&A deal quickly became a (difficult) learning opportunity.

We’re not telling you something you don’t know. Every M&A deal means some risk. But if the appropriate steps are taken during the beginning stages of the process, risk can be minimized. As we have discussed, one of the most important risks to address is overpayment, and there are three key steps involved.

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Topics: Risk Assessment, Mergers and Acquisitions, Negotiation

Jun 13, 2014 2:24:00 PM

Interest Rate Risk - Burden or Opportunity?

Interest rate risk presents a unique challenge for the banking industry in today’s economy. The questions that most frequently arise are when will we actually experience a rising rate environment and how will interest rates react in the meantime?  

While we lack a crystal ball, the lingering fear among economists is that a weakening U.S. and global economy will continue to damper interest rate growth. Signs also point to the possibility that another recession could occur before interest rates and the economy fully recover. 

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Topics: Risk Assessment, Regulations, Interest Rates

Apr 2, 2014 10:30:00 AM

It’s 2AM, Do You Know Who’s On Your Network?

In light of the recent data breach at Target, IT risk buzz words are swirling the banking industry, and rightly so. The cost of a security breach can cripple any business and, certainly, a financial institution. 

The Target breach has cost banks at least $200 million related to card reissuance and increased customer service activity with impacted account holders. So far, there are approximately 80 lawsuits against Target by banks and consumers, in hopes of recovering losses.


You may be thinking to yourself, “Only the largest banks and card issuers have the same exposure to hacking or cybercrime as a retail giant such as Target.” While the largest companies have more PCs, network devices, and people (via social engineering) to hack, organizations of all sizes are vulnerable.

In fact, the root of the Target breach was traced to a 125 employee, privately held HVAC contractor doing business with Target. The contractor was connected to Target’s systems using an EDI-type interface for invoicing refrigeration services. Hackers compromised the HVAC contractor’s IT system and piggy backed into Target's network.

While you can’t control the security of cardholder data outside of your networks, financial institutions can significantly reduce the impact of a large scale breach by implementing a sound risk management program. Such a program incorporates active network security monitoring, vendor risk monitoring and incident response handling.

As a start to assessing your IT risk universe, financial institutions should answer the following three questions:

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Topics: Risk Assessment, Data Security

Mar 26, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Five Factors for Successfully Managing the Upturn

In 2008, the financial crisis did its best to dissolve the American economy. An overabundance of confidence in our financial security led to decisions that crippled the banking industry with foreclosed assets and extensive credit quality deterioration.

Six years later, wisdom gained through hindsight has helped the industry understand what caused the crisis, rebuild institutions, and put preventative measures in place. Make no mistake; banks are still burdened by ongoing margin pressure, risk and regulations. But we’ve found cautious optimism, and can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Our team has identified five key opportunities that can help banks win in the economic upturn:

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Topics: Leadership, Risk Assessment, Mergers and Acquisitions, Accounting, Bank Trends, Regulations

Mar 19, 2014 1:02:00 PM

How to Fix Potholes in Banking

I was recently heading home on I-40 from Nashville and couldn’t believe all the potholes. The cold winter in middle and west Tennessee has wreaked havoc on the roads, and I found myself continuously dodging potholes so I could have a smooth, comfortable ride home. 

About 50 miles from my exit, traffic came to a screeching halt. After sitting in what had become a huge parking lot for about 10 minutes, traffic began to move very slowly for the next few miles. I was anxious to get home and was seriously annoyed. 

When I finally got close enough to see what caused the delay, I realized it was a road crew working on the potholes. I immediately thought, Why can’t they do this at night when nobody is on the roads? That’s when it hit me – I didn’t want the potholes on the road, but I selfishly didn’t want them fixed at a time that might inconvenience me.

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Topics: Risk Assessment, Audit