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Nancy Feig
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Departures of Bank Executives Spur the Need for Succession Planning

Financial executives at the top leaving at higher rates compared to other employees.

Top-level financial executives are leaving their jobs at a higher rate than other employees, according to a new compensation survey conducted by Crowe Chizek and Company LLC (Oakbrook, Ill.) — and the timing couldn't be worse for the banking industry.

The Crowe 2007 Financial Institution Compensation Survey Report states that voluntary retirement for CEOs and other officer-level employees is at four percent, while the rate for all employees is 2.6 percent. Meanwhile, turnover for these high-level positions has increased from 5.2 percent in 2005 to 6.5 percent in 2007. This comes at an especially bad time for the banking industry, which is experiencing heated competition. The situation is compounded when organizations fail to actively look beyond their current set of leaders and fail to engage in strategic succession planning and formal leadership development. This does not mean just planning for who will be the next CEO. All financial services organizations have leaders in key positions throughout the company whose unplanned-for departure can significantly interfere with success and derail plans for growth.

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