Colleagues, fellow professionals and friends,
"Ever since the spider had befriended him, he had done his best to live up to his reputation. When Charlotte's web said SOME PIG, Wilbur had tried hard to look like some pig. When Charlotte's web said TERRIFIC, Wilbur had tried to look terrific. And now that the web said RADIANT, he did everything possible to make himself glow."
- E.B. White, "Charlotte's Web"
I admire writers who can tell a story simple enough for children to enjoy, but with character studies and life lessons deep enough for adults to ponder. The really great authors do this almost effortlessly. Think of old Scrooge playing like a child after a night of rebirth in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," or the go-getter Rabbit in A. A. Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh" who, "never let things come to him, but always went and fetched them."
C. S. Lewis, author of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," gave helpful advice about how to read these stories. He said, "Moving always into the book, not out it, from the concept to the image, enriches the concept."
1 In my words, his lesson is, "Once you grasp the meaning, don't throw the image away." The imagery makes the lesson more memorable, of course; but more than that, it is how the author wanted us to "think" about the lesson. Consider "Charlotte's Web." White could have just written that Charlotte complimented Wilbur by saying he was "some pig," or he was "terrific" or "radiant" - but that's not how he wrote the story. Charlotte didn't whisper compliments to Wilbur, she made much of him in a very public way. Her words were not even really directed to him, but to others. She wanted others to see Wilbur as she saw him, and that is what happened. Others came to see Wilbur differently, and Wilbur came to see himself differently, too. Think of your compliments like that. You are making a giant spider's web with words in it so that others will take notice and see what you see.
Harvard Business Review confirms (in business lingo) this lesson from "Charlotte's Web": "Research shows that the stories we hear from others that highlight our unique contributions can help us find purpose in our relationships with our colleagues and our work. When someone mentions your work in an email and calls you 'supertalented,' or talks about your unique strength of connecting with customers, you're more likely to feel that your work has meaning ... Every day we have opportunities to help others create positive meaning in how we communicate about our colleagues. It's worth it to stay aware of these moments and take advantage them. Not only do we uplift others, but we also lift up our own potential for meaning by positively contributing to others."
So, when you give compliments around the office (which you should do liberally), do it in a way that others will see what you see. And, when you are complimented, strive to live up to your reputation.
I hope this edition of BankLine has many items of interest for you.
James W. Bruce, III
CEO and General Counsel, American Bank Systems
1 C. S. Lewis, Selected Literary Essays. Cambridge University Press. 2013. P. 149.
BankManager® Exact: Ensure Effective Management
As we all know, regulators expect us to manage all the collateral and policy exceptions
thrown our way, or else we are subject to regulatory action or the forbidden "problem"
bank status. But how do we ensure effective management in our consistently changing
BankManager® Exact is being used by banks across the country. BankManager® Exact
was created by bankers, for bankers to help you easily manage your exceptions while
giving you confidence that your collateral and policy management system will work for
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So, how does it work?
Designed specifically for financial institutions, BankManager
® Exact tracks required
documentation and monitors collateral and policy exceptions.
In addition, t
he database incorporates all information needed to achieve quality service and
efficient loan and account supervision.
Exception monitoring tasks, policy exceptions tracking and user-added custom
exception codes are completed at the click of a mouse.
The system is fully functional without extensive set-up and can be easily
customized for various exception codes, collateral types, loan grades, loan
status indicators and more.
The reporting function facilitates reporting by officer, department, branch or
institution, saving extensive time and effort.
Do yourself a favor - try Exact for yourself. Save time so you can focus on your most
important job - serving your customers!
To schedule a demo or to learn more, please contact Tom Ryan by email at email@example.com or by phone at
"The road to senility is paved with plaques" - I don't recall who coined this phrase, but I'm sure it applies to many who have been plowing the ground as long as I have. In July, I celebrated my 52nd year in the financial service industry after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1965. I spent the first 25 years as a banker - a senior officer of The Liberty National Bank & Trust Company of Oklahoma City, its parent, Liberty National Corporation, and subsequently with its successor, Banks of Mid-America (BOMA). Those years are ones I recall with much fondness, but actually my second career - Chairman of American Bank Systems and our effort to serve the banking community with compliance solutions - has been more rewarding by far.
In 1990, I decided serving bankers rather than being one would be more fulfilling than continuing my role as Chief Administrative and Financial Officer of BOMA. So, I left to start my own enterprise - J W Bruce & Associates - and subsequently in July 1993, I acquired majority ownership of American Bank Systems from its founder, and my first boss at the Liberty, Morrison G. "Tuck" Tucker. What a mentor Tuck was at the Liberty and then at ABS. Tuck was a rare man with many accomplishments and awards, which bespoke his great capabilities. I learned much from Tuck and miss him each day.
In 1993, ABS served some 120 banks in Oklahoma with LoanCalc (the documentation engine owned by Formation Technology of Denver), used to produce our brand of loan and deposit documentation, which Tuck and the team had created over the years since he founded the Company in 1969. Tuck also understood the importance of good documentation tracking and loan administration so he created a manual credit filing system, CredCode. That led ABS to developing an automated tracking and imaging system known today as BankManager®. Our BankManager system serves more than 300 clients across some 30 states. In the spring of 2016, we acquired Digital Banking Systems' document preparation engine, CoPilot, which now serves banks in 10 states within the heartland and southeast U.S. We also have financial institutions across the country using our CompliancePro® risk management and monitoring system. We thank all of our customers for their loyalty and their business.
I trust that it is not unbecoming to be proud of American Bank Systems and our associates. We truly are a family business - not just because we are family owned, but more because we are family operated. Each associate is a member of our "corporate family" and I am proud of each associate. With their help, we created the BankManager management/document systems, which assist bankers be better loan and deposit administrators. And, we continued the tradition established by Tuck in the design of our loan and deposit transaction forms and making those forms available in our CoPilot Loans and Deposit system. I believe they are the best banking forms in America.
My wife, Betty, and I have a terrific family. It has been particularly gratifying to turn the control of ABS over to our son, James ("Jay") W. Bruce, III. His education (accounting at Oklahoma State University and law at Oklahoma University) and work as an attorney is exactly fitted for the needs of ABS, and more. His temperament and concern for others is "right on target". And, our other son, John, is a Managing Director of Citigroup and travels the world working with Citi's clients. His education in finance at Oklahoma University and MBA at Northwestern has also served him well. We are blessed with four grandchildren and more - a Company whose associates make up our business family. We are blessed with a staff who not only know their stuff, but have significant tenure with the company. They truly are our second family. Each one is dedicated to serving our clients with energy and devotion to provide excellent CARE! And, the best thing about all that for me is that I can pursue my other passions - oil painting and advancing the arts in our great community - confident ABS will continue to build and serve our client base with attention to our motto: ABS Cares - which stands for having a "Commitment" to a can-do "Attitude" to be "Responsive" to our clients (and each other) and with "Enthusiasm" to provide "Superior service".
James W. Bruce,
Chairman, American Bank Systems
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CoPilot Tips & Tricks
by Cindy Wilhelm, Training Specialist
CoPilot is a loan and deposit account origination system with a user-friendly interface putting you in control. CoPilot Loans helps banks save money and time. Not every loan needs an expensive legal review. Copilot Loans does it for you, providing you with documents and processes that are designed to ensure compliance. CoPilot Deposits is a sophisticated deposit origination system which improves efficiency, accuracy and compliance.
Have you ever wished you could quickly just pull up a blank Loan or Deposit document to fill out on the fly? Maybe you are with customers completing a loan application, and someone needs a single document right then and there. You don't want to have to close up the loan you are currently working on in order to retrieve the requested document; or maybe you just need a Participation Agreement, which is not normally included in the loan package.
CoPilot has taken such scenarios into consideration and created a convenient and time-saving solution by providing a Forms List within the program! This list allows the user to generate a fillable, blank form separate from and outside of completing a loan or deposit product and can even be easily accessed at any point during the completion of a product without disruption.
To find out more about CoPilot, please contact our ABS Customer Care Team at (405) 607-7000 or visit our website at www.americanbanksystems.com.
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