July 2017 - Watching great athletes reach peak performance is something we can all admire because we recognize the countless hours of dedicated practice required to achieve this result. Yet, during any game, even with the greatest of athletes, there comes a time when the team pauses the action to bring it in. In these moments in the huddle, the team together determines what needs to happen next – given the current state of the game – in order to continue on the path to success.
Last month, we hosted our 2017 Annual Member Conference. The theme for this year’s conference – Bring
It In – encapsulated how much we value being part of our shareholders’ teams and emphasized the advantages of working together to achieve mutual success. Much like a team huddling up during a critical part of the game, at this year’s gathering, we joined shareholders to assess the current marketplace and develop a game plan for the future.
At FHLBank Atlanta, our goal is to continually earn our shareholders’ trust so that we may participate in strategic discussions with their management, asset-liability committees, and boards of directors. We are honored to be part of our shareholders’ success, serving their businesses as trusted advisors, and we do not take this position for granted.
Expanding Our Scope and Leveraging the Multiplier Effect
To build on this collective success, we must continue delivering unparalleled value to our shareholders as part of their teams. We know that we are most effective when we partner with shareholders on a strategic level. In the years since the financial crisis, we have focused on broadening and deepening the products and services we deliver to help shareholders build the communities in which they live and work. Today, our comprehensive product offering extends beyond daily liquidity to include strategic mortgage funding, balance sheet management, risk management, affordable housing products, and more.
There are many examples of how shareholders use our advances, mortgage solutions, and Affordable Housing Programs (AHP) strategically to grow their businesses and strengthen their communities. For instance, one such shareholder in Alabama has deployed more than $2.4 million in AHP funds to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home and assist veterans and military households with critical home renovations. Nearly 200 families in their community have benefited from this outreach. We think the work they are doing is good for both their business and their community, and it is garnering positive attention from local stakeholders.
Additionally, shareholders are increasingly bringing us in to support strategic growth initiatives, particularly around mortgage lending, with customized advance structures. One funding strategy used frequently today blends a ladder of fixed-rate advances with retail deposits to match the average seven-year payoff of a mortgage pool. This strategy gives the shareholder greater balance sheet flexibility and helps them reduce funding costs for the mortgage portfolio.
More importantly, we seek to leverage each shareholder’s success, creating a multiplier effect. Whether a shareholder is serving military households with our Veterans Products, or is achieving growth through a mortgage funding strategy, we explore how their results can be replicated with shareholders throughout our district. This is a cornerstone of the Bank’s cooperative structure – we are all part of a team serving the needs of our communities. Sharing best practices and helping shareholders duplicate the successes of their peers are ways we can serve as trusted advisors.
We encourage every shareholder to harness the power of their FHLBank Atlanta team. The audience at this year’s Annual Member Conference represented 80 percent of our advances outstanding and 74 percent of our letters of credit business. These institutions are maximizing their ownership in the cooperative by bringing us in throughout the year to develop strategies for success and gathering with their peers to plan for the road ahead. We will continue to work every day to earn a position on each of our shareholders’ teams with the conviction that when we prepare together, we can achieve together.
Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer