GSBLSU Favorite Class: Negotiate to Win for Bankers

Posted by Don Woodland on Jul 31, 2015 2:51:36 PM

About the Professor: Jim Thomas

jim_thomasJim Thomas is a Washington, D.C. attorney, speaker, trainer, and author.  Throughout his 35 years of practicing law, Jim has specialized in negotiation, garnering himself a reputation as one of the nation’s best.  His experience includes mergers and acquisitions, arms control, labor relations, domestic and international business transactions, trade and diplomacy, and more.  His impressive client list includes the majority of the Fortune 500.

The name of the course and the content is directly from Jim’s book and Workshop series by the same name: Negotiate to Win.  First published in 2005, the book is a HarperCollins international bestseller, available in 18 languages around the globe.  He can often be found as a guest commentator on a number of radio and network news programs and is often invited to speak at events worldwide.  He is a partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm, a principal in a California venture capital firm, and a member of the faculty at The Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Washington’s Pacific Coast Banking School, and GSBLSU.

About the Course

Jim’s no-nonsense, highly interactive approach in his instruction is welcome by students.  The classroom is near capacity for each session of this elective course as he applies the principles of negotiation to a variety of scenarios designed to keep students interested and on their toes.  Realistic exercises allow students to work together through the negotiation process, applying the rules they have learned along the way.

Negotiation is not just an art, it is a make-or-break career competency that every banker needs in order to remain competitive.  From bargaining rates with customers to sorting out compliance issues with regulators, the ability to negotiate properly affects nearly aspect of the industry.  As Jim guides students through the process of successful negotiation in this series, he elaborates on each of the seven critical rules of negotiation:

  1. No free gifts!
  2. Start high
  3. Follow a dramatic initial concession with sharply diminishing concessions
  4. “Krunch” early and often
  5. Never settle issues individually
  6. Conclude with a  nibble
  7. Keep looking for creative (high value – low cost) concessions to trade

As Jim points out, Americans are historically poor negotiators and we have gotten away with it until now.  The globalization of the economy, tightening of economies, shrinking of margins, and growing scarcity of resources worldwide has made an inability to successfully negotiate unacceptable in today’s marketplace.

A Little Bit of Lagniappe

Negotiate to Win is an engaging class, and Jim’s expertise and experience mean that students will get a lot of additional knowledge and interesting facts throughout the series.  Here are just a few tidbits you may pick up:

  • There are actually 21 total rules of negotiation.  The first seven are “critical,” but the others are also important to becoming a successful negotiator.
  • Jim provides a comprehensive list of “krunches” ranging from the tried and true to the humorous.  It’s all about knowing in what situation and with whom you can use each one.
  • Jim was a member of the U.S. team during the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) negotiations with the former Soviet Union.  Under this treaty, nearly half of the world’s nuclear weapons were destroyed.

If we’re being completely honest with ourselves, we could all use some lessons in negotiation, regardless of profession.  However, it is essentially important for bankers.  To get full explanations, real life examples, and experience using the seven critical rules of negotiation and more, you’ll have to enroll at GSBLSU and choose this enlightening elective.

9 Important Reasons To  Attend GSBLSU

Tags: Graduate School Options, Curriculum

GSBLSU Favorite Class: Bank Regulatory Law

Posted by Don Woodland on Jul 21, 2015 3:13:23 PM


The turbulent world of finance and economics coupled with the expansion of regulation and governmental oversight has changed the landscape of banking.  The laws that create requirements, restrictions, and guidelines for which U.S. banks must abide are, at the very least, complex.  One course offering at Graduate School of Banking at LSU, Bank Regulatory Law, taught by Carl J. Chaney can assist bankers in navigating the challenges and encumbrances of banking regulatory law. 

About the Professor: Carl J. Chaney, President & CEO, Hancock Bank / Whitney Bank

After completing his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi, Chaney graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1986.  In 1998, he became the Chief Financial Officer at Hancock Bank and stayed in that role until 2006 when he became the President and CEO of Hancock & Whitney Banks.

About the Course: Bank Regulatory Law

As a second year class, the Bank Regulatory Law course is a required component of the curriculum.  The state of current and active legislation and economic conditions make the details of the class an understandably important topic.  This course is intended to assist bankers in the challenging and rapidly evolving environment of regulatory law.  Topics include regulatory enforcement actions, mergers and acquisitions (including FDIC assisted deals), bank secrecy act, C.R.A., fair lending, bankruptcy, lender liability, and survival tactics for the new financial services industry.  Attention is also given to current and proposed legislation as well as discussing the future of the financial services industry.

Three Takeaways

regulation_compliance1.) Real Life Applications: This course goes beyond simply listing the textbook jargon and examples of bank regulation.  The class is engaged and encouraged to think outside of conventional thought processes. The implications of how current laws can affect lending practices and how potential legislation and trends can impact business are only two of many issues covered in this course.  By using actual scenarios and leveraging experience, students learn how to make these laws malleable and to develop a proactive approach to banking.

2.) Business Strategy: Looking at real-world data alongside the economic impacts allows banks of various sizes the insight into laws applicable to specific situations and how to operate within the parameters.  In Recent Developments in Mergers & Acquisitions, the different regulations that pertain to “leveraged deals” are broken into two deposit sizes, <$500mm and >$500mm.  Maintaining balances as you approach this threshold can make a big difference in terms of what the laws allow.  Other strategic positioning applications which enable an organization either to acquire or be acquired are explored.  

3.) Expectations: Similar to the real life applications, Professor Chaney demonstrates numerous variations of possible outcomes in given scenarios . In one exercise the class was told to act as if everyone was on the board of a bank.  Next came the question, “Why would we sell?”  As different answers came from the students, a variety of different objections, plausible reasoning, catalysts, and examples changed the narrative.  Whether a potential sale or merger was being discussed, or lessons were taught on why regulatory laws could, or couldn’t, make an initiative possible, the very reality of how banking regulatory laws will influence the futures of the students at GSBLSU was abundantly earnest and significant.

While this course overview and the few takeaways presented here only scratch the surface of the knowledge handed down from Professor Chaney to the GSBLSU students, Bank Regulatory Law and its far reaching implications in the industry will not soon dissipate.  Regulatory law will only grow in scope and complexity in the coming years, so our students gain an edge in learning the base and building as new developments come at them.

Assisting Mr. Chaney in the course are three outstanding banking professionals.  John Heasley is EVP and General Counsel of the Texas Bankers Association, Jim Mabry is Managing Director, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Richmond, VA, and Robert Reynolds, Attorney-at-Law, Reynolds, Reynolds & Little, Tuscaloosa, AL.

With this course being taught by a banking professional who personally oversaw one of the largest mergers (Hancock & Whitney) in the southeast US region, students have the opportunity to learn so much more than simply the course outline.    For junior bankers looking to secure their futures in their banking careers and home banks, this type of knowledge cannot be obtained in such concentrated fashion anywhere but GSBLSU. To learn more about GSBLSU, click below.

9 Important Reasons To  Attend GSBLSU

Tags: Graduate School Options, Curriculum

GSBLSU Favorite Class: Mega Trends of Agriculture, Rural, & Small Business Lending

Posted by Don Woodland on Jun 12, 2015 1:05:03 PM

About the Professor: Dr David Kohl

Dr_David_Kohl_GSBLSUThis elective course is taught by Dr David Kohl, Professor Emeritus Agriculture & Applied Economics at Virginia Tech in Blackburn, VA, has been teaching at GSBLSU for 25 years.  Dr Kohl spends significant amounts of time consulting across the US and Canada.

Dr Kohl ties in many of his agricultural and rural facts in his class to real-world applications from a business he founded 15 years ago with his two farmer business partners, Homestead Creamery- a company that sells milk in charming old fashioned glass bottles, provides home delivery to the Roanoke, VA area, and stocks the shelves of Kroger, Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and multiple others along the east coast.

About the Course

The 2015 class, attended by juniors and seniors, was nearly at capacity, but Dr Kohl explained just how much the demand for the course has varied over his tenure with GSBLSU.  The course was completely removed from the school’s offerings in the 1980’s due to low demand.  However, Dr Don Woodland approached Dr Kohl about re-working the course and bringing it back to students.  With renewed interest and surging enrollment in the class, a clear shift in the nature of rural and agricultural small business lending has become apparent and significant.

The content of the course focuses on the megatrends, both domestic and international, that influence rural and agricultural industry along with the implications for banks on the credit risk, lending, and growth opportunities with businesses in the agricultural/rural sectors.  Several of the topics covered in the class include:

  • Reasons To Be Optimistic About Agriculture
  • Trends To Expect: Populations and Consumerism
  • Macro Factors Impacting Agriculture
  • Industry Structure
  • Real Estate Valuation
  • Intergenerational Business Transfer
  • Significant Global Forecasts
  • Industry Specific Case Studies

The junior bankers attending the session with Dr Kohl were engaged and actively inquisitive on his material.  The valuable information will be implemented back at home banks with better understanding of management best practices, of underwriting, and of credit scoring.  With such rapid advancements in the agricultural world and the constantly undulating spectrum of global and domestic trends, the GSBLSU banking students  rightly foresee a need to educate and plan for the changes ahead in the rural and agricultural small business lending arena.

A Little Bit Of Lagniappe

Dr Kohl not only delivered on the course information, he also throws in several fun and interesting facts during his fast-talking sessions. A few of the gems he left students with were:

  • Dr Woodland has been the director of GSBLSU since 1967.
  • He encourages number-crunchers and bankers to think comprehensively and holistically in their lending situations, stating, “A lot of problems lie outside of the numbers.” Using his experience with Homestead Creamery and the listeria contamination at a similar dairy processing facility to show just how unpredictable business can truly be in the real world.
  • The 3,500 Hour Rule: Many bankers find themselves stretched too thin due to overcommitting at work and in the community, often dedicating 3,000 hours at work and an additional 500 hours in civic and volunteerism activities. This is a sure-fire path to burn out. He cautions his class to not exceed 2,500 hours annually or risk running out of momentum.
  • Dr Kohl is a runner and likes to get his runs in around the LSU lakes each morning. It would be a great time for a one-on-one conversation with a fellow runner in the banking world!

These are only a few tidbits of additional, bonus info (lagniappe, as we say in Louisiana) that can be garnered from the session with Dr Kohl.  In order to get more of these, you’ll have to enroll at GSBLSU and sign up for this fun and informative class.

Apply to GSBLSU

Tags: GSBLSU, Curriculum

New & Revised Courses at GSBLSU in 2015

Posted by Don Woodland on Mar 13, 2015 10:23:19 AM

newGSBLSUcoursesIn the commercial banking industry, changes have been coming more and more quickly. At GSBLSU, we have researched and conferred with others in the banking education arena to determine the best subject matter to present to students in the 2015 session of GSBLSU.  After careful consideration, GSB has decided to implement a few changes and additions to the courses offered for all classes of students.

At the end of each session, students complete course evaluations. Where better to gain an understanding of the information that is most useful to students as they return to their home banks?  This data is extensively combed through and reviewed in our development of course offerings and faculty.

Freshman Course Changes

  • Asset Liability Management: A complete revision of the materials presented; taught by Dr Stephen Lacewell
  • Credit Risk Management: Will now be taught by Mr Gary Higgins.

Junior Course Changes

  • Managing Bank Performance: An overhaul of the course by long-time instructor and BankSim coordinator, Dr Ernie Swift, better aligns students with the needs of the BankSim senior course.
  • Strategic Planning: A completely new course for the second week at GSB will be taught by Mr Ken W Johnson and Michael Woody.
  • Hot Topics in IT: Completely new course instructed by Ms Lisa Traina.

Senior Year Changes

  • Special Banking Issues: A final week course covering regulatory, managerial, and economic impacts on bank management; taught by Mr Ken W Proctor.

Mexican Student Course Changes:

  • A course, entirely taught in Spanish by Jesus Garza, will focus on the US banking environment from a Mexican banking standpoint.

Application Deadlines Are Nearing

GSBLSU is looking forward to another stellar year of educating the future leaders of banks across the US and Mexico.  If there are individuals in your institutions who are primed for upward movement in the bank and are promising candidates for the prestigious honor of attending and graduating from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, urge them to apply online for a spot in the classes of 2015. 

The deadline for application is April 16, 2015.  The full Course Catalog can be viewed here. The online application can be accessed in the link below as well as the printable version of the GSBLSU application.

Apply to GSBLSU

Tags: GSBLSU, Graduate School Options, Curriculum


Posted by Don Woodland on Oct 3, 2014 2:20:00 PM

Banking EducationIn this rapidly changing financial environment, maintaining a relevant banking education program is indeed challenging.  It is important to educate young leaders how the present system functions, but that is not enough.  A relevant program must address environmental changes, both current and potential.

 Students often comment that some of the material covered in class is not applicable to their bank or to their current position in the organization.  This observation is certainly relevant, but to teach only what is current is a recipe for obsolesce.  Education must prepare leaders for the future, and to assure competent future leaders demands that they be exposed to new ideas and to potential new environments in which they will be part of in the future.

 Changes for the 2015 curricula of the school aims to challenge the bankers attending to think about and to be prepared to meet future challenges in the banking industry.  New courses and/or new faculty will be introduced in the following fields:

  •           Asset/Liability Management
  •           Credit Risk Management
  •           Strategic Planning
  •           Information Technology
  •           Real Estate Financing
  •           Special Banking Issues
  •           Regulatory Environment

 The list does not reflect all changes in material to be taught at the 2015 session since all faculty members incorporate in their presentations the latest current and potential changes which affect their areas.

9 Important      Reasons To Attend GSBLSU

Tags: Graduate School Options, Curriculum

Making a Plan For Your Third Year Courses at GSBLSU

Posted by Don Woodland on Mar 22, 2013 10:37:00 AM

GSBLSU Third Year Courses

Previous posts have helped guide students through the planning stages of their first and second years with GSBLSU.  Now that you’ve successfully navigated those, and you’re almost at the finish line, it’s time to turn your attention to your final year.  Fortunately, you don’t have to form this plan alone.  We understand that you want this critical part of your education to go as smoothly as possible, so we’ve put together something to help you out.  If you click the button below, you’ll find access to a comprehensive overview of all the available courses for your final year along with full course descriptions.  This year is a huge step in your career.  Take advantage of this free download to make it perfect!

Click Here For GSBLSU  Third Year Guide

Tags: Curriculum

Planning Your Second Year Courses at GSBLSU

Posted by Don Woodland on Mar 20, 2013 9:36:00 AM

GSBLSU Second Year Courses

In a recent blog, we discussed the importance of planning for your future and provided some valuable information for first-year students at GSBLSU.  Now, with your first year in the rearview, it’s time to map out your path for a successful second year.  As always, GSBLSU wants to help keep you prepared.  For that reason, we’ve laid out your entire second year according to required and elective courses.  We’ve even taken it a bit further with detailed class descriptions.  All you have to do is click on the button below, and you can rest assured with a course of action in place.

Click Here For GSBLSU  Second Year Guide

Tags: Curriculum

Investing in Your Future: GSBLSU First Year Course Overview

Posted by Don Woodland on Mar 18, 2013 9:04:00 AM

GSBLSU Course Overview

In life, there are probably very few things that you don’t plan ahead for.  As you have progressed in your life and career, you likely have realized exactly how much you have to protect and have taken steps to do that.  You’ve probably purchased insurance for your home, your car, and even your life.  Most likely, you have retirement and savings accounts to secure your future and the future of your loved ones.  These days, it’s even a rare occurrence to leave home without an exact idea of where you are going and how you intend to get there.  

Your education shouldn’t be any different.  What does your plan look like as you take the next step and invest in your future with GSBLSU?   How are you going to get to your destination?  You should know exactly what to expect in this journey, but perhaps you aren’t sure where to start.  Fortunately, The Graduate School of Banking has taken some of the guesswork out for you with overviews of the required and elective courses for your first year.  To download these along with full course descriptions, you simply have to follow the link below.  So, what are you waiting for?  Start planning for the next step towards a secure and successful future.

Click Here For GSBLSU  First Year Guide 

Tags: Curriculum