One CFO, Two Companies

Two credit unions are sharing a chief financial officer, part of an effort to cut expenses and attract better talent.

Can one finance chief split his or her time between two companies? Yes, apparently. A story in the Credit Union Times Wednesday described how the Department of Labor Federal Credit Union (DOLFCU) and the Destinations Credit Union in Baltimore are sharing a CFO.

The two small financial institutions (both under $70 million in assets) made the move to conserve resources and attract a highly qualified candidate. The CEOs of the two credit unions decided to combined the jobs and launch a joint search last June, when both lost their finance chiefs.

photo of Karen Gouldman

Karen Gouldmann

“We’re all [credit unions] trying to collaborate on back-office functions to stay viable as small credit unions,” Joan Moran, CFO of DOLFCU, told the Credit Union Times. “Brian [Vittek, CEO of Destinations] and I lost CFOs on the same day and I said, ‘Can we share one?’ That’s how it happened.”

The new CFO, Karen Gouldmann, has experience as a financial institution auditor, compliance auditor and a CEO for state and federally chartered banks. Gouldmann said she loves a challenge and was enthralled with the concept.

Gouldmann reports to both CEOs and splits her time between the credit unions but mostly works from an office at Destinations or her home office in Baltimore. Destinations is Gouldmann’s legal employer because it has a better benefits package; DOLFCU reimburses Destinations for half of her salary and benefits.

Although the credit unions don’t compete against each other, Gouldmann has confidentiality agreements with each of her employers that dictates what information can and cannot be shared between the two institutions.

Regulators have also blessed the concept, Moran told the Credit Union Times. “They understand that small credit unions are challenged with having the right people and to stay in business.”

Source: Two Credit Unions, One CFO

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