BBOK Wins Bank Competition

“To grow our bank footprint and expand our reach, increase market confidence, and best position ourselves as a leader in the consumer market supplemented by growth in the business sector.” Mission Statement for OBMC.

It’s important for every bank to create measurable goals and, to achieve those goals, it is even more important to make daily decisions which support them. This is just one of the lessons Scott Fowler said the BBOK team learned from participating in the Online Bank Management Contest (OBMC) for young banking professionals organized by SimArch, Robbins Banking Institute and the Kansas Bankers Association.

The BBOK team – Greg Sacks, Amanda Williams, Jen Caughron and Scott Fowler took first place in the competition.

The team started the simulation by creating long-term bank goals for their fictional institution. Each week for six weeks, the team analyzed changing market conditions and trends, set financial objectives and determined the best way to invest and market in order to claim the bank’s share of the market.
Jen Caughron said the team quickly saw that the simulation was as difficult to predict as the real-world, “we saw that even the best planning can be derailed by unknown variables.”

The team met regularly to ensure everyone was moving in the same direction and that decisions made in one department did not derail other areas, says Scott. “This lesson learned was crucial to achieving corporate goals in the competition, and more importantly in real-life. The competition reinforced the need for good communication and creative thinking across all areas of the organization.”

“There was a genuine appreciation and respect for the knowledge each member of the team brought to the table,” adds Jen.

The competition winner was determined by the bank’s profitability at the end of the program and how well they met their mission statement. The BBOK team found success in positioning themselves for the long-term, taking some risk upfront by purchasing funding at the beginning of the competition. Capital shares issued early allowed the team to purchase loans later in the simulation.

Initially, the team was placing in the middle of the pack because of the cost and risk taken early in the competition. As the competition went on though their investment and long-term planning started to pay off, “We definitely didn’t see the decisions we made in Q1 payoff until later in the competition, which mirrors bank performance,” says Amanda Williams. “However, we saw that early decisions which seem painful at the time paid off in later quarters and beyond.”

“We looked at the competition as a marathon, not a race,” says Greg Sacks. “We put ourselves in a position where regardless of changing conditions we were prepared and able to weather even the worst-case scenario. These are fundamental to BBOK’s business strategy and the position we mirrored during the OBMC competition to ultimately outperform our competition and bring home the trophy.”