Texarkana Financial Tattler


An Interview with Joe Nichols Discussing

The Recent Appointment of Mike Kennedy

As New President of Century Bank

Tattler:There is seldom much to talk about in the Texarkana financial community, so the appointment of Mike Kennedy as President blind-sided many people.What inspired this move?

Nichols:I havenít played golf in nearly three months.A man cannot remain chained to his desk and continue to be viable and creative.In order to relieve the pressure of the daily routine, there had to be a safety valve for me before I reached the breaking point.That balance sheet lands face up on the top of my stack, you know.

††††††††††† Mike Kennedy was already in place.He has great ideas and enthusiasm.Why not give him a chance to show his stuff?So thatís how it happened.

Tattler:Kennedyís background doesnít lend itself to the mold of a bank president.What exactly does he bring to the table?

Nichols:Mike is an energetic, exciting sort of guy.He responds to challenge well, and with the diversity of his background I envisioned just what is now becoming evident.Youíll see subtle reflections upon his earlier career in his plan.This guy is a drummer!

Tattler:Maybe so, but the drums of war are at the forefront today, and the financial community is feeling the heat of that war.What does Kennedy plan to mitigate the sudden downturn in financial demand?

Nichols:Thatís exactly the question I posed to Mike.I told him that he had to charge hard out of the gate and do something quickly to make his presence known.

Without a flinch, he quickly responded,ďIím thinking this would be a great time to unfurl a giant American flag in front of the bank.I think I know where I can get one,Ē

He was on the phone with Pete Mankins before I could continue.Making deals, thatís what Kennedy does.Heís a deal maker.

Tattler:Getting back to that balance sheet.One or more of you must deal with that matter in the coming months.

Nichols:Yes, thatís one of the matters on the agenda, but our present focus is upon market share.Weíre building a bank from scratch, here.

Tattler:How, then, will Kennedy play into this insatiable appetite for market share?

Nichols:Iím glad you asked that question.Here is what Mike Kennedy has in mind for the new market approach on the consumer lending side:

Country Club Program

Golfers and tennis players wishing to upgrade their equipment and wardrobes for the coming season may finance 100% of the cost through Centuryís Club Dealer paper.Club professionals will receive a loan origination fee in addition to the sale of goods.The six-month term of the loan allows the consumer to finance their spring purchases, with the loan maturing just as the fall lines appear.Renewal is automatic for accounts in good standing.

Watch those little Polo logos propagate into a thundering herd!Mike is really on the mark with this one!


Automotive Program

The auto loan market has been almost non-existent for commercial banks since the advent of zero per cent financing by the major auto makers.Mike has a great idea to get us back into the fray.Heís offering zero per cent financing with zero down payment if you open a checking account with us.As an additional incentive, the client gets their choice of a Weedeater or a set of stainless steel flatware, service for eight.What a great idea!

There is some skepticism, though, as evidenced in the last board meeting when Kennedy was challenged to defend this promotion.He countered with the observation that the bank has positioned itself as the provider of the lowest rates in the financial community.

ďWhy should we draw a line and stop short of capturing the vast automotive market?We have a great location and plenty of room to display the repos with pennant banners and maybe a baby blimp balloon.Iíll put a couple of guys out there with straw hats a cranes hawking traffic off of Cowhorn and St. Michaels.Weíre gonna sell some fucking cars!Ē

You just canít overstate his enthusiasm.


Home Improvement

In order to bring this seasonal business into our bank, Mike suggests that we give five gallons of custom colored paint to each new home improvement loan customer.A kiosk will be placed in the bank lobby with a mixing machine and computerized color-matching.

The kiosk, provided by the Red River Design Center, will also promote various home improvement items such as shingles, carpeting, countertops, storm windows, and the like.On the spot financing will be available at the kiosk with a simple internet hookup to glean the customer credit score.Instant approval will give the customer a blank check for improvements, and a free bucket of paint to go with it!

Mike doesnít stop at the high watermark, though, he analyzes the downside as well.For example, if the loan goes bad, we can re-cycle the asphalt shingles, the aluminum and glass from the storm windows, and sell the granite countertops to monument companies for signage stock. What a win-win deal for the bank!

The Internet

Century bank will provide links from the home page of our web site directly to offshore gaming.Casino games and a huge sports book will be available to those who surf our site with just a simple mouse-click.

What a coup!You donít even have to drive to Shreveport any more!And the good part is that the bank gets a finderís fee from every redirect from the Century web site to the gaming site.

The gambler blows, we get a finderís fee, and the loser becomes a borrower at the bank!How good is that?

Mike is a genius in this area, and only his seasoned insight could have led us down thiswinning road!No more Tuesday settlements for Kennedy, heís raking it in twenty-four/seven!Online banking may never be the same!

Tattler:Now on a probative note, Kennedy is well known as a two-fisted Irish drinker.Will this cloud upon his reputation drift over the bank?

Nichols:Not a problem.Mike is known to raise his glass from time to time, but only in appropriate settings.Business days are for business, and Mike knows that.Besides, the way he handles alcohol, there is only a tiny window of opportunity for him to show his ass.He can only last about an hour the way he does it.The bank views this diminished exposure as a plus.

Tattler:Well, it certainly sounds as if the bank is moving to a new level.Thanks for giving us this time to visit with you, Mr. Nichols.

Nichols:The pleasure was all mine.We really need to get this message out, and we appreciate your interest.I gotta go now, my group tees off at eleven.