COO, Greater Hudson Bank
When Lynne Allan took the reins as chief operating officer at Greater Hudson Bank in 2008, the bank had never turned a profit. Facing challenges with a strategic approach and positive viewpoint, Allan dramatically cut costs and kicked off a period of continuous growth.
Allan got in on the ground floor of the bank’s reorganization from traditional retail and loan silos to a regional team structure and then renegotiated the bank’s core processor contract to save the institution more than $9,000 a month in ongoing expenses.
“We tried to get out of what we know as [veteran] bankers and figure out what people need and use today.”
Thanks in part to these changes, since 2009, the bank has grown its assets from $68 million to $528 million. In the last year alone, net total deposits rose by 15 percent, demand deposit account balances by 35 percent, and outstanding loan balances by 14 percent.
Allan also oversaw the bank’s transition from depending on paper applications and spreadsheets to using Sageworks banking software — a major technological shift for the company.
“We tried to get out of what we know as [veteran] bankers and figure out what people need and use today,” Allan explains, noting that people working in one area for a long time tend to become set in their ways. “We wanted to look at values and efficiency from a client standpoint, not just from ours.”
Up next for Allan is steering the bank through its upcoming merger with ConnectOne Bancorp, Inc. “Change is always hard, but also exciting,” Allan says of the merger.