Employer Credit Unions have an opportunity to work with Financial Wellness providers

Employer Credit Unions have an opportunity to work with Financial Wellness providers

Employer Credit Unions have an opportunity to work with Financial Wellness providers

David Kilby
President, FinFit

Financial wellness programs are becoming a staple in the employee benefit universe. With this adoption comes the evolution of exactly what financial wellness means, and what a successful financial wellness program should look like. As a rapidly growing industry, we often lack a consistent definition for financial wellness. This leads to organizations believing they have implemented a financial wellness program when in reality, they are only offering a handful of tools or resources that may present more challenges when offered in a silo.

I define Financial Wellness as the process by which an individual can efficiently and accurately assess their financial posture, identify personal goals, and be motivated to gain the necessary knowledge and/or resources to create behavioral change. Behavioral change will result in improved emotional and mental well-being, along with short- and long-term financial stability.

78 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet1. The need for financial wellness is clear, but there are consistent pillars that must be addressed in any successful financial wellness program to affect change: spend, save, borrow and plan. When evaluating employers’ financial wellness plans, it’s important that these dots all connect if an employer is truly going to motivate behavioral change and recognize the ROI of a comprehensive, holistic platform.

78 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet.

FinFit provides over 150,000 employers with our financial wellness platform across all sectors, areas and demographics. We support organizations that employ over 100,000 employees, as well as organizations with less than five employees. Typically, smaller employers offer little to no financial wellness services, while larger employers have at least some level of financial service offerings available to their employee base. The biggest challenge is helping each unique organization define what a successful financial wellness program looks like, determine what aspects are currently being offered, and identify gaps.

The following are the most common financial services that are mistaken for holistic financial wellness programs.

As of September 30, 2018, there was over $5.6 trillion invested in 401(k) plans.3
Credit Unions/Banking Partners. Many of our larger clients have their own Credit Union that can provide member-based banking services. Some of our employers have strategic banking relationships established to the benefit of their employees. These two options provide great opportunities to get employees to take part in traditional and alternative banking services. The value of such to employees can be substantial and valuable, partially serving elements of the financial wellness pillars. However, there are reasons why these services need to be included in a larger financial wellness initiative:
95% of Americans already have banking services4 and prefer to maintain those relationships.
The lack of personal assessments based on data and current behaviors does not provide an opportunity for the credit union/bank partner to impact employee development.
Credit and other services are typically based on traditional credit scores and underwriting criteria which may disallow services to employees who have the greatest need. One-quarter of adults who applied for credit were denied at least once, and 32 percent were either denied or offered less credit than they requested.5
Tools, resources and aggregators of spending habits that create visibility and awareness are not typically found with these relationships.

Personalized, motivational roadmaps based on the unique position of each employee are not typically found within these relationships.

The opportunity for organizations is to complement a holistic financial wellness platform with an existing credit union or banking relationship to drive membership and account creation within the existing partnerships. Linking these programs can provide both the employer and the financial institutions with valuable data on their members so they can better provide services and opportunities that are needed and desired by the employee, relevant to their personal financial wellness path.
Credit unions in the United States serve over 100 million members, which equates to 43.7% of the economically active population.6
Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs). The existence of these plans within organizations is always encouraging and emphasizes one thing to me: culture. It means the employer cares about their employees and recognizes that life happens, often presenting unexpected challenges. Nearly 3 in 4 workers say they are in debt today – more than half think they will always be7. 40% of Americans can’t pay $400 for an unexpected expense8. EAPs show me that the employer genuinely wants to assist when unforeseen challenges arise, and the employee does not have a viable solution. I applaud these programs, and the generosity of the employer. However, these resources are generally made available to a limited and extreme audience of employees. Though helpful in the immediate situation, this solution does not drive financial wellness or behavioral change.
EAPs were conceived in the 1940s as “Occupational Alcohol Programs.” They were further developed by Yale for both business and government applications.9
Educational Platforms. We are seeing more and more highly interactive platforms that involve gamification, video, mobile and virtual environments. Educational technology is evolving at record speeds and financial education is moving down a similar path. Education is a critical element of financial wellness because most often, it is the knowledge that encourages and reinforces behavioral change. We started inquiring early on with the question that drove our parents bonkers – “why?” – and for most, we never stop asking. Providing the “why” is a critical part of financial wellness if we expect behavioral change. However, it must be smart and meaningful. The educational content must be relevant and timely for the individual consuming it. The answers must be personal, unique and have an impact on current habits surrounding the four pillars: spend, save, borrow and plan. Each employee’s situation is unique, relevant to their financial position, goals and level of education. Motivation and rewards must be equally unique, tailored to each unique individual. However, education without a means to solve financial challenges and plan for tomorrow is only part of the solution.
It is estimated that gamification in education increases learning by more than 23% compared to traditional teaching activities.10
Financial Advisors. This service is typically offered alongside the retirement plan “financial wellness “program.” Although the financial advising services can provide vast value to some individuals, it can be cost-prohibitive and is often not accessible to most of the employee base. Financial advisement generally focuses on long-term savings and goals, often through traditional investment vehicles. Financial advisors can certainly provide value, but the pillars of ‘spend’ and ‘borrow’ are usually ignored.
There were 325,000 financial advisors in the US in 2008. That number continues to fall, coming in around 285,000.11 Both the recession and robo-advising has impacted the profession.

There are other areas of employer-provided services that could be mistaken for financial wellness, but the areas I outlined above are the most common we encounter and discuss. I don’t want to take away from the value of these services – they are excellent tools, resources and services that can provide enhanced value to a comprehensive financial wellness platform. Absent of a holistic financial wellness program to support any of these initiatives, the potential value to the employee and employer will not be realized.

What’s the most efficient and effective way to assess your current financial wellness services to determine ultimate value and return? Ask yourself these questions:

Does the platform offer a personal assessment of each employee’s unique situation, circumstance and goals? Does the assessment return quantifiable and qualifiable data?

Does the platform address 100% of your employee base, including the least sophisticated employees? Much of your ROI from a financial wellness program does not come from your top performers, it comes from creating behavioral changes within your less advanced employee segments.

Does the platform integrate the various components to provide a tailored path for each employee, including assessment, education, tools, feedback and solutions?

Does your platform offer solutions for short-term financial challenges like cash flow issues, as well as long-term financial challenges associated with savings and development? A major return on your investment comes from reduced employee stress, which is substantially driven by short-term triggers versus long-term planning objectives. You must deal with current financial challenges before you can ask for longer term vision.

Does your platform provide real-time data that quantifies the behavioral change within your employee base, while motivating and recognizing employee accomplishments?

If you would like a personal assessment of your financial wellness platform, or simply want to know how you can implement an effective program, please Contact us for a no-cost evaluation.

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Kristen Stringer

Vice President of Banking & Credit Services

Kristen Stringer came to FinFit in 2010 and has been instrumental in the development of the proprietary FinFit systems and processes. Kristen served as FinFit’s Director of Operations for 7 years before being promoted to Vice President of Banking and Credit Services. She is responsible for managing strategic partners including the Celtic Bank and Ares credit relationships, in addition to establishing new relationships in the sponsor bank market. Kristen also oversees the underwriting and credit areas and is involved with development of underwriting models and new credit products, expansion of credit offerings, auditing and compliance, and the overall performance of credit products.

Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in finance, and is currently pursuing her MBA at Old Dominion University. She began her career at HSBC Bank in the customer service and collections departments and later was responsible for process improvement and project management. She was selected to lead numerous special projects including a foreclosure avoidance project that liquidated over $2 million dollars in less than three months. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys photography and is an avid sports fan.

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David Kilby


David Kilby has been President/CEO of FinFit since its founding in 2008. He has grown the company from a single idea into the nation’s largest, most comprehensive Financial Wellness Benefit platform. Chosen as one of the top 100 companies to work for three years in a row (2014-16), FinFit pursues a mission of changing employees lives one employee at a time. Prior to FinFit, David led a multi-million-dollar financial institution holding company, where he was inspired to find a way to help employees get more financially fit. At KPMG Peat Marwick, Norfolk, Virginia, he worked with a variety of public and private organizations in a variety of industries including automotive, chemical manufacturing, consumer finance, managed health care, retail, real estate and wholesale organizations.

David received his CPA designation in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1991 and graduated from Old Dominion University. Today he serves as the President of the Ability Center of Virginia, a charity devoted to helping children and adults with disabilities serve productive lives. He is also an active member with the Young Presidents Organization, an active Board Member of Old Dominion University Business School, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Jennifer Creech

Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Jennifer Creech brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience to FinFit. Jennifer is accountable for the overall sales initiatives, client acquisition and strategic relationships. She is also responsible for client retention strategies and the development and management of sales agents.

Jennifer previously served as VP/Director of Marketing at Bank of Hampton Roads/Hampton Roads Bankshares, Inc. As an officer of the bank, she was responsible for the development and implementation of the bank’s sales and marketing programs and was a member of the Retail Leadership Committee to expand the retail banking division.

Jennifer is currently the President of It’s A Surprise and offers support to various community charities.

Kristen Gaskins

Director of Client Engagement and Awareness

Kristen Gaskins brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience to her role as Director of Client Engagement and Awareness. She leads a dynamic team of onboarding specialists whose focus is ensuring employers understand the benefits of FinFit and are ready to roll it out to their employees. She works closely with the FinFit marketing department to craft and measure the omnichannel onboarding experience, working to retain and engage existing partners, clients and employees.

She’s a Virginia Beach native who enjoys travel and cooking, just not at the same time.

Cliff Kiel

Senior Vice President, Sales

Cliff Kiel brings almost thirty years of industry experience to the sales team. He joined the company in 2017 to oversee new revenue channels for the business. Cliff is based in Atlanta, Georgia, overseeing sales and business-to-business prospect marketing. Cliff leads the broker and employer growth strategies for the company.

Prior to his tenure with FinFit, Cliff served four years with Purchasing Power as Vice President, and General Sales Manager. He was instrumental in onboarding many Fortune 100 clients. Under his tenure leading the sales team, the company's revenue doubled and he recorded record sales years for the organization. Prior to Purchasing Power, Cliff worked for leading health and welfare companies such as MetLife, United HealthCare, CVS Caremark, Cigna, Value Options, and Alere.

He earned his BA degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and his Certificate in Healthcare Management from the State University California, Irvine.

Cliff has been a featured speaker at the annual Voluntary Benefits Conference and many other leading conferences.

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Pete Ostberg

Chief Operating Officer

Pete Ostberg joined FinFit in 2017 after spending 20 years in the payroll industry. Pete is responsible for overseeing all business operations, ensuring FinFit has effective operational procedures in place. He also conducts market research and analyses to strengthen FinFit’s product portfolio by adding new and exciting offerings to help employees become more financially stable. Pete is focused on growing the number of valued partners and ensuring the successful implementation of FinFit with each one.

Prior to FinFit, Pete worked at Paychex in a variety of roles. He has in-depth knowledge of tax payments, payroll, insurance, operations, business analysis, and product management. During his tenure there, he helped to strategically position new products as they were brought to the market. Pete has a degree in Political Science from SUNY Geneseo and in his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and traveling.

David Hockstad

Senior Data & Financial Analyst

David Hockstad came to FinFit in 2015 and has led the development of FinFit’s custom underwriting algorithms and employee assessment questionnaire. As Senior Data and Financial Analyst, David is responsible for identifying portfolio trends and KPIs, implementing business intelligence tools, creating visual ad hoc reports, and enhancing predictive modeling capabilities. David also assists various departments in finding actionable insights in their data, be it understanding successful company demographics, employee contact methods, or customer propensity to borrow.

David obtained his Bachelor’s from Lee University. After graduating in 2012, he began his career at PNC Bank as a commercial underwriter where he was responsible for optimizing business cashflow and underwriting loans.

Kim Miller

Director of Marketing

Kim Miller joined FinFit in early 2018 to build their marketing department, re-energize the brand and establish FinFit as the industry expert. She is an experienced marketing director with a demonstrated history of developing brand identities, increasing brand awareness and creating optimal customer experiences. Skilled in strategic product development, content creation, user experience, cross-channel marketing and customer engagement, she is passionate about moving the business forward and establishing FinFit as the industry leader.

She started her career at Brunner, a national advertising agency, helping to create a digital footprint in the emerging space. She supported a variety of brands including Consol Energy, Cub Cadet, Longhorn, Aquafresh, WesBanco and Huffy, and worked in every discipline from project and account management to copywriting to site architecture.

She moved to Virginia in 2010 and joined Dominion Enterprises, working in the marine, automotive and powersports divisions during her tenure. She helped build and grow their marketing departments, create brand identities, develop sales processes and tracking capabilities, and drive the product development for both B2B and B2C audiences.

Bill Hall

Chief Compliance Officer

Bill Hall serves as Compliance Officer for FinFit and is responsible for identifying, assessing, mitigating and monitoring all legal, regulatory, operational and reputational risks for the company.

Bill brings extensive legal and regulatory compliance experience to FinFit, primarily in the financial services industry. After beginning his legal career as an Associate Attorney with Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice in Winston-Salem, NC, Bill had a 19-year career in the Law Department at United Guaranty Corporation in Greensboro, NC. At United Guaranty, Bill served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel, as well as International Group General Counsel.

Bill earned a B.A. degree, cum laude, from Davidson College and a J.D. degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Bill is licensed as an attorney in the state of North Carolina.

Brooke Saunders

Director of Human Resources

Brooke joined FinFit in early 2013 and focuses on key areas such as Talent Management, Employee Development and Training, Benefits, Payroll and Compensation, Business Strategy, Employee Relations and developing programs to increase employee engagement.

Brooke is a graduate of Old Dominion University and started her Human Resources Career at Robert Half International as a Staffing Manager in 2002. She worked there for 3 years and recruited, hired, interviewed, and placed administrative workers into office positions for her clients.

Brooke has years of experience in the hospitality field, where she served as both Human Resources Director and Resort Marketing Recruiter for large organizations such as Gold Key Resorts and LTD Limited. Her skills included the development of effective recruiting programs, handling all associate relations and counseling, tracking all worker’s compensation claims and other various HR functions to support the HR Manager.

Matt Fahy

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Fahy serves as Chief Financial Officer for FinFit, with responsibility for the overall financial management of the company, including accounting, financial planning and analysis, credit and treasury functions and tax.

Matt brings extensive financial and operations management experience to FinFit, primarily in the technology industry. Before joining FinFit, Matt served as CFO and Executive Vice President of Global Services for AgilQuest Corporation, a Workplace Management Enterprise SaaS company. Prior to that, he served as CFO for Public Access Technologies, Inc. and QualityClick.com Inc. and oversaw the rapid growth of these Internet companies. Matt was also a Senior Manager for KPMG in the Information, Communications and Entertainment practice serving public and private media, entertainment and technology clients. Matt began his accounting career with Paul Scherer & Company, a boutique CPA firm in New York City serving Advanced Publications and Newhouse Broadcasting Corp., the largest privately held media company in the world.

Matt is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, specializing in Accounting & MIS. Matt received his CPA designation from the state of Ohio in 1993.

Paul Grosch

Chief Technology Officer

Paul Grosch is a seasoned technology executive with over 20 years of experience growing business through software development, infrastructure management, data analytics and customer support. He brings a wealth of experience with strengths in areas such as technology process standardization, measurement and disciplined innovation. Paul has worked across a broad spectrum of industries including construction, retail, hospitality, financial services and Department of Defense.

Paul joined the FinFit team in Q3 2018. Prior to joining FinFit, Paul served as the Vice President of Information Technology for Gold Key Hotels and Resorts, the largest and most demanding hospitality developer, owner and operator in the Mid-Atlantic. Paul led the technology team through a series of rapid growth, innovation and exit cycles. This included the $168MM sale of Gold Key Resorts in and recent sale of oceanfront Hilton properties valued over $87MM. Paul has also led state of the art development projects within Lockheed Martin and the Department of Defense.

Paul Grosch obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science in Computer Science from Old Dominion University. He holds an MBA from University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified IT Service Management Expert (ITIL).

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