Associated Bank head addresses move to NYSE, calls it ‘five-year journey to future’

associatedbankbellAssociated Banc-Corp commemorated its move to the New York Stock Exchange by participating in the opening bell ceremony on Tuesday. Among those in this scene are Philip B. Flynn, president and CEO of Associated Banc-Corp., third from left, front.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Associated Bank has a large presence in Southern Illinois. This column by their company president and CEO addresses their move Tuesday to the New York Stock Exchange.

By PHILIP B. FLYNN

Five years ago Associated faced a series of urgent challenges. While many considered it one of the darkest moments in our organization’s history, the leadership team and I knew this company could have a very strong future.

We set our sights on an ambitious agenda to differentiate Associated with a vision to become the most admired Midwestern financial services company. This journey has been about transforming limitations into advantages and challenging ourselves to raise the bar on delivering value to our customers, our communities and our shareholders.

Banking is not just a transactional business. There is no better feeling than helping people prosper. Our commitment to consumers and business leaders begins by listening to their needs and ensuring they have access to the best solutions for their financial and business goals.

Our ability to achieve this is enhanced by our status as a regional bank; we are small enough to build meaningful customer relationships, yet large enough to deliver a full suite of products to meet complex financial needs.

Our values require us to make each customer connection a great experience. Every day our customers tell us we’re moving in the right direction. We hear about their positive experiences in our branches, through our online and mobile channels and through our local, industry-recognized Customer Care teams who are available anytime, day or night.

When we report on our success, we report on tangible characteristics such as assets, growth, efficiency and returns; but equally important are intangible aspects such as culture, shared values, and the spirit of the workforce.

Today, as we commemorate our move to the New York Stock Exchange, I am honored to be joined by three colleagues – Commercial Banking Team Leader Angela O’Neill, Senior Financial Consultant Wael Rashidi and Bank Manager Carmela Spurlock – who embody that spirit. These ambassadors, representing our team of more than 4,300 colleagues, work with the belief that banking is a relationship business where success is defined by the customer experience and the overall health of our communities.

As part of the bell ringing ceremony, we are extending their commitment with a donation to Junior Achievement in recognition of the NYSE. This $30,000 gift, designated to support the advancement of financial literacy education, will be shared across districts in the Twin Cities, Green Bay and Chicago, the home cities of our three colleague ambassadors.

Becoming the most admired Midwestern financial services company is an extraordinary aspiration, and one we will continue to work hard to achieve.

Our plans call for intelligent, guided growth of our company. Our long-term success will depend on how well we deliver quality and value to our customers; that’s what generates real growth.

While this strategy may seem somewhat basic, it requires that we attract and retain top-level colleagues. It also requires that we collaborate with leaders throughout our footprint in support of the economic health of our communities.

It gives me great pride to represent Associated and our committed team of colleagues. Their efforts have driven our success over the past five years, and I am confident we have only begun to show what Associated is capable of achieving.

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