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LEADING QUESTIONS: Regional M&I prez buzzes on banking

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Leading Questions

Welcome to the latest installment of  “Leading Questions: Wisdom from the Corner Office,” where IBJ sits down with central Indiana’s top bosses to talk shop about their industry and the habits that lead to success.

Reagan Rick, 48, defies the stereotype of a banker as a beancounter with a head full of numbers and a personality as bland as vanilla pudding.



“I like to get after things,” said Rick, regional president of M&I Bank, in his corner office with a stuffed Energizer Bunny over his right shoulder. The plush pet is a gift from a co-worker, making sly reference to his practice of zipping through the halls of M&I’s local offices. It just as well could refer to his inclinations for running marathons, climbing mountains, and changing careers. (See video above.)

Rick grew up working on his family’s farms in Covington, Ind., where he learned to operate a tractor at age 8. Instilled with an independent spirit and sensitivity to the concerns of small businesses, he drifted into the study of finance while attending Ball State University.

He forged a career in corporate banking in Indianapolis in the 1980s and 1990s. With a bit of a restless spirit and desire to expand his sphere of knowledge, he also pursued a law degree in his spare time, graduating from the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis in 1997. He shifted into the practice of law with a focus on business transactions, first for Ice Miller and then for a one-man firm he founded in 1999.

Wanting to again work in a team environment, he joined First Indiana Bank in 2004 as executive vice president and general counsel. When First Indiana merged with M&I in 2008, he became regional president.

“I would encourage anyone to take some risks and go out and try something different,” he said of those who are contemplating career changes. “I think that people who have gone out and run a small business or done something a little different have a much better perspective, and when they come back maybe to where they started, they have a great vision.”

In the video below, Rich discusses the lean lending environment for businesses and offers a suggestion for owners who would like to apply for commercial loans.



 

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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