Pub. 12 2023 Issue 6

2023 Economic Outlook & Risk Management Conference

Above: KBA Chair-Elect Gene Dikeman of the Bank of the Plains in Hutchinson extended a warm welcome to all attendees, embracing the opportunity to kick off this year’s event with enthusiasm and appreciation. He acknowledged the invaluable support of our sponsors, whose commitment and generosity have played a pivotal role in making this event possible.

The Wichita Marriott Hotel was the location for the 2023 Economic Outlook & Risk Management Conference on November 8-9. With many CEOs, CFOs and investment bankers on hand, the program provided high-level and timely information for bank development and planning. KBA Chair-Elect Gene Dikeman, Bank of the Plains in Hutchinson, welcomed attendees, thanked conference sponsors and gave special recognitions before introducing the first keynote speaker, Sean Payant with Haberfeld. In his fast-paced and entertaining talk titled “Under Pressure: Cost of Funds Strategies in a Rising Rate Environment,” Payant shed light on the enduring significance of low-cost funding in the banking realm. He emphasized that even during periods of historically low interest rates, low-cost core deposits retained their value. As rates began to climb, the attention returned to the importance of low-cost funding. Payant’s session provided practical strategies that can be implemented by teams today, irrespective of the financial climate. These strategies not only ensure success in the present but also pave the way for a secure future.

Navigating Economic Uncertainties,” presented by Dr. Chris Kuehl, posed the question, “Why, despite earlier predictions, has a recession remained elusive?” Delving into the factors at play, he examined whether inflation is truly under control, the intricacies of the supply chain and how the shortage of workers impacts remarkably low unemployment rates.

Global trade and geopolitics also took center stage in Dr. Kuehl’s analysis as he unraveled their implications. Perhaps most crucially, Dr. Kuehl shed light on how this intricate web of economic factors shapes the banking sector and the economy, particularly in the diverse state of Kansas.

Following lunch, the conference had breakout sessions that included:

Concurrent Session I

  • “Compliance Hot Topics”
    Dylan Serrault, Kansas Bankers Association
  • “Credit Reporting and Dashboarding to Solve Risk”
    Zach Langley, Abrigo
  • “Top 10 Cyber Threats and How to Mitigate Them”
    Brandon Gettert, Curated Cyber

Concurrent Session II

  • “Compliance Hot Topics”
    Dylan Serrault, Kansas Bankers Association
  • “Fraud Risk Management Best Practices”
    John Meyer, Cornerstone Advisors
  • “Preparing for a Focus on Process and Efficiency”
    Brady Chianciola, PRI

In the final session of the day, “Asset/Liability Management in Today’s Environment,” Dale Sheller with The Baker Group explained that in early 2022, the Federal Funds Rate was close to zero, but by the end of the year, the Federal Reserve had raised interest rates by 500 basis points in nine months to combat near 40-year high inflation. While these measures benefited financial institutions by expanding margins, concerns emerged about balance sheets and overall performance due to dwindling liquidity and increased pressure on deposits. The session addressed these concerns and offered strategies to help institutions better navigate the uncertainties ahead.

Day two of the conference began with popular economist Dr. Ed Seifried in his session, “Can the Fed Win the War Against Inflation Without Causing a Recession.” Although Dr. Seifried believes that the current period of inflation is almost over, continually monitoring GDP reports will be critical for bankers to ensure that their institution remains able to support growth through loan quality and liquidity. Additionally, utilizing various techniques to monitor the economy will allow bankers to explore appropriate solutions for their bank and remain in the know on current topics that impact their communities, according to Dr. Seifried.

Jim Perry, Senior Strategist at Market Insights, presented a talk on “Supercharging your 2023 Strategic Plan for Future Growth.” Harvard Business Review tells us some 60-90% of strategic plans never fully launch. Perry explained for a successful strategic plan, setting the stage is vital. Choose a diverse strategy team, communicate your methodology clearly and encourage open debate. Embrace varied perspectives, granting permission for candid discussions while anchoring decisions in relevant data. This approach ensures a robust and effective strategy, combining diverse expertise with data-driven insights.

The conference concluded with “Priority Mastery: Strategic Execution on What Matters” by Eric Papp. Boost focus on top priorities, avoid the urge to do everything, accelerate project progress, have the courage to reject irrelevant tasks and make room for strategic thinking. In a world of increasing complexity, Papp emphasized that individuals need to prioritize effectively, enabling them to achieve greater impact and regain a sense of control. Resist the misconception that you can do it all, and embrace the idea that success involves making trade-offs. As life becomes more demanding, creating mental space for critical thinking becomes essential — time to identify unnecessary tasks, rescue stalled projects and build the courage to decline non-essential commitments.

Mark your calendars for next year’s conference on November 6-7 in Manhattan! 

Dr. Ed Seifried, a renowned expert, delivered the opening keynote on the conference’s final day. Based on his extensive market research, he asserted that we’ve hit peak rates after enduring the highest rate hikes in 22 years. His presentation decoded the economic complexities, offering strategic insights and prompting thoughtful reflection among attendees.
KBA President & CEO Doug Wareham engaged in a discussion regarding the banking industry and the economy in Kansas with Dr. Chris Kuehl, a renowned expert from Armada Corporate Intelligence.
Dr. Sean Payant with Haberfeld was the opening keynote speaker. He highlighted the current impact of rising interest rates on the financial sector, emphasizing the renewed significance of low-cost funding. His address provided a comprehensive exploration of economic challenges and opportunities, offering valuable insights for navigating the evolving financial landscape.
(L-R) Jason Weiler, John Kilroy and Lance Caldwell with UMB Bank, Kansas City, MO.
Kelly Gillespie and Adam Boyle with Networks Plus in Manhattan invited attendees to their booth for a game of Blackjack. Both cybersecurity and playing blackjack involve strategic decision-making, risk management and an understanding of probability.
After his presentation on effective strategic planning tactics, Market Insight’s Jim Perry took questions from Addison Cokely (left) and Julie Graber (right) from INTRUST Bank in Wichita.
Thank you to our special guest Rep. Dan Hawkins, Speaker — Kansas House of Representatives, for making a special appearance. We appreciate you providing an update on next session initiatives!