Capstone’s John Dearing Shares Thoughts as Part of Strategic Growth White Paper

Capstone’s John Dearing Shares Thoughts as Part of Strategic Growth White Paper

Capstone Partner John Dearing provided expertise and insight for a recent white paper published by America’s Credit Unions’ CEO Council. Leveling Up: Leadership Through Asset Size Growth examined ways to potentially increase credit union asset size through both organic and inorganic growth.

Dearing was asked for his thoughts as they pertained to the “Mergers and Acquisitions” section of the report. “Prepare by developing your singular reason for pursuing a transaction,” he said. “If you are going up a weight class in size because of a merger, be prepared for what that means, both positively and negatively. Being larger can give you an advantage in what you are able to provide your members but may also require that another level of management must be implemented, or new team members must be hired.”

He also commented on the use of partnerships and collaborations as a growth strategy. “When CEOs seek to keep up with all the ongoing technological innovations, combined with the ‘war-on-talent’ post-COVID-19, it may make sense to pursue a CUSO investment or M&A option in order to bolster the team, expertise or experience in a particular area,” he said. “Fintechs, neobanks, and traditional competition are all evolving, and credit unions will need to as well.”

After decades of experience helping credit unions develop and execute strategic external growth programs, Dearing concluded by offering advice on staying focused and being realistic. “You can’t chase everything nor be everything to everyone,” he said. “However, you can prioritize options by thinking critically about your organization, the market, and then fill in information voids with research.”

In concluding his views regarding a successful asset growth strategy and how to pursue it, Dearing reminded report readers that a shared vision was a necessity. “When it comes to proactive, strategic growth initiatives, CEOs and leaders need to be aligned with their boards,” he said.

John Dearing is a Partner at Capstone Strategic. He can be reached at