A Sit Down with Neil Stanley, TS Bank’s President of Community Banking

Published: Oct 2, 2017 1:38:44 PM
Topics: Community

This article was originally published in Council Bluffs Business Link by publisher Bryan Maschmeier.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Neil Stanley at TS Banking Group in their brand new building on the corner of Scott Street and West Kanesville Boulevard. What a magnificent building it is -- so magnificent that prior to my scheduled meeting with Stanley, I took about three dozen pictures of the building. 

It was while I was taking the pictures of the TS Bank building that I met Stanley. “You must be Bryan,” I heard from a voice off to my right. When I looked in the direction of the voice, I saw an energetic guy coming my way. I told him that I was indeed, and after the introductions, I realized that Stanley is a man of action. He was ready to start the interview right there in front of the building with half-a-dozen brochures in hand. And so we began. 

Stanley has been married to the same great gal for more than 35 years, and the two have been blessed with three children, each of whom are now adults, of course. He has spent the majority of his career in the Omaha area, with the exception of serving as the CEO at Northwest Bank in Spencer, Iowa. 

In 2010, Stanley founded The CorePoint. After decades in financial institution leadership, Stanley decided to take what he had learned, developed, and tested in the financial institutions he had led, and created a product lineup that he found to be missing in the market. Years later, The CorePoint is going strong, and provides refined processes, products, and training for pricing and selling deposits to financial institutions across the country. The CorePoint is a company built by bankers and with bankers in mind. CoreCD® enables financial institution employees to display and deliver value that goes beyond rate alone. Although Stanley’s company has been implemented across the nation, it was TS Bank that became his first customer. Stanley and TS Bank hit it off so well that in 2012, Stanley joined the board at TS Banking Group, and in 2016, he became the President of Community Banking for TSBG. 

TS Bank, formerly known as Treynor State Bank, was purchased in 1978 when Mick and Judy Guttau used their family farm as collateral to purchase Treynor State Bank in Treynor, Iowa. Over the following decades, Treynor State Bank continued to grow. In 2003, Mick and Judy’s son, Josh, who had been working at First National Bank in Omaha, was encouraged by his dad to work for the bank in Treynor. That’s what Josh Guttau did, and he became the bank’s Chief Financial Officer. 

While most businesses were affected by the economic downturn in late 2007 thru 2009, Treynor State Bank continued to thrive. The success that the bank was enjoying was due to well-thought-out strategic investments made years earlier. After seasons of financial growth, TS Bank was able to invest in people and technology, allowing for even more success and growth. 

In 2015, the bank started the TS Ag Finance business unit with the addition of David Buman, who was recruited from Farmer Mac. TS Ag Finance began building its reputation into a regional and national lending institution. 

Around the same time, TS Banking Group began looking at other acquisitions. One of the core strengths of TSBG is that they are almost 100% digital. By being near-digital, they were able to create and invest in new technology, which allowed them to be more efficient, but at the same time, allowed them to create business and investment models which they could look at in many different ways. The push to go digital was the younger Guttau’s initiative. In fact, one of the first things that Stanley pointed out to me when we went in his office was the fact that there wasn’t one filing cabinet. “Almost everything is digital,” said Stanley. “The technology that we have created or invested in allows us to move quickly in our decision making processes,” he continued. 

In 2014, TSBG purchased The Bank of Tioga in Tioga, ND, and shortly thereafter, another bank in Crosby, ND. In 2016, they acquired Okey Vernon First National Bank, which was converted to a TS Bank branch in Corning, IA, and in the first business day of 2017, First National Bank and Trust Company in Clinton, IL.

Although Josh Guttau and his sister, Heidi, are the owners of the bank, Mick Guttau remains Chairman of the Board. “Mick is very forward-thinking,” states Stanley. “He has great ideas and relies on the team to execute them,” he continued. While a lot of community bankers will go with what their “gut” tells them, Stanley explains that the younger Guttau is not like that. “Josh will analyze an investment or idea in a great many different ways to ensure all possibilities are thought of,” explains Stanley. “While Josh is aggressive, he is more strategic in what he will and will not do. He is very detailed in his decision-making process -- very methodical. And while he does so much analyzing, he’s still so much faster than most people,” Stanley continued. “We are not a good ‘ole boy organization here. We believe that whoever has the best ideas should engage the rest of the team to collaborate and implement the idea. It is a team concept.”

TS Bank also believes in investing in area businesses as well. Along the lines of “Shark Tank,” TS Bank started an event called REV, where they seek out innovative thinking from the business community, and have awarded over $50,000 to local businesses since 2015. According to Stanley, he has not seen that kind of initiative from other community banks. To learn more about REV visit: www.tsbankrev.com.

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TS Bank is constantly changing the landscape in terms of banking products and opportunities. For example, TS Bank helps CD owners refinance their CDs. Let’s say, for example, that you own a bank or credit union CD. You could wait until the CD matures to make an investment decision, but you could be wasting thousands of dollars. As Stanley explained it, as interest rates rise, CD holders can trade out their CD for a new CD at TS Bank and have the exact same maturity date as the old CD, but for more money. See CD Maturity Diagram.

TS Bank offers many products that meet or exceed their customers’ needs, from REFI your CD to CDtwo® (the enhanced system for savings), to Kasasa (the free checking program that offers free ATM nationwide and other rewards).

TS Bank has been able to help local businesses grow, create local jobs, give neighbors fulfilling work, establish a goal to generate profits to be donated, and teach community members about financial literacy. TS Bank is more than a community bank; they are a community-prosperity engine.

To find out more about TS Bank, you can visit one of their many locations in Treynor, Macedonia, Corning, Atlantic, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, or visit them online at www.tsbank.com. To learn more about TS Banking Group’s acquisitions and career opportunities, visit www.tsbg.com.

This article was originally published in Council Bluffs Business Link.
Publisher – Bryan E. Maschmeier, Assistant to the Publisher – Lisa Maschmeier, Graphic Design – Brenda Diamond, Marketing & Scheduling – Bryan Maschmeier, Writer – Bryan E. Maschmeier, Production – Bob Powders, Customer Service Represenative – Melissa Klich, Editor – Kara Maschmeier. For information call (712) 322-8228. A Publication of CSI/SSP Inc. 1220 2nd Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51501.

Written by Bryan Maschmeier