Insights & News

What's new at Artisan Advisors and in the world around us.  

Panning for Remote Gold: Cultivating Business Leaders in a Remote Working Environment

The last 20 months have been challenging to say the least. Covid-19 has dramatically changed how we all live together and interact with each other, both socially and in the way we make our livings. Prior to the pandemic, remote working was more of a trend than the dominant form of working life it has become. Now, after all Covid-19 has put us through, working remotely is indeed the way a vast and growing number of people earn their paychecks and put food on their tables. Read More.

Community Banks – Relevant Today, Relevant Tomorrow

At a strategic retreat of family owned and closely held banks, I was privileged to connect with community institution leaders from the Upper Midwest. As we went around the room, each introduced themselves and shared a little background about their bank and what made them unique. There was an overriding theme that resonated with each individual story: a close relationship with their communities and a deep desire to serve them. Read More

What’s Lurking in your Loan Portfolio?

“Unexpected and unpleasant surprises may be lurking behind what could be interpreted as an initial rebound after such an unprecedented year.” In a recent opinion piece, this was the solemn conclusion my colleague Jeff Voss reached when he offered his evaluation of the state of community banking, once the COVID-driven government intervention completely recedes. Read More

Big Challenges Around the Bank Board Table

Artisan's Jeffrey Voss and Kathleen Marinangel recently participated in a recent webinar entitled: "Big Challenges around the Bank Board Table". If you missed it, be sure to check out the replay for an engaging and insightful conversation about the challenges community bank boards are facing today - and in the future. View the replay.

For Community Banks, the Worst May Not Be Over

There’s a lot of talk lately about getting back to normal. People are getting vaccinated. Mask restrictions are easing. Towns and cities across America are opening up again. Businesses are beginning to call people back into the office and many industries are seeing signs of real recovery. Read More.

Jim Adkins Participates in Waller Law Podcast

In this episode, we discuss the current state of affairs for banks considering the effects of the pandemic and the fast-approaching presidential election. We focus on a few key areas. First, what is happening in the economy and how that is impacting banks. Second, how banks can embark upon the strategic planning process amid all these challenges and third implementing that plan. Listen to the podcast.

Is Your Bank Ready for 2021?

History tends to repeat itself.  The Great Recession resulted in many bank failures, some recaps, and other industry consolidation.  There is no time like the present to access the strength and challenges your bank faces and develop plans to manage through 2020 into 2021. Read More.


(Spoiler alert: It Will Require you to Evaluate the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Your Bank)

Did you know that, in June 2020, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies, in conjunction with the state bank and credit union regulators, jointly issued examiner guidance to outline the supervisory principles for assessing the safety and soundness of institutions given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic? Read More.


It definitely could be, but let’s start with some not so ancient history.

Back in late 2008-09, the Great Recession was beginning to cause serious headaches for many banks, even the strongest ones. Earlier that year I had committed to move forward with the business plan to start a new community bank, thanks to the support of a large health insurance company supplying the initial capital.  In retrospect, I doubt we could have raised individual investor capital in a market back then without them.  Read More.


Work out is coming back. Despite a cash infusion from the federal government designed to keep small businesses afloat, many will struggle to survive this ruthless pandemic economy. More loans will become more troubled and focus will shift from normal operations to work out. It’s inevitable.

To be most effective, work out requires a trench mentality. It’s a tough fight, but everyone involved needs to work together, to come out of it as whole as possible. I’ve spent 13 years in the work out trenches and learned a few things along the way. As we enter the work out phase of this crisis, keep these tips in mind. Read More.


By this time, you have already activated your financial institution’s Pandemic and Business Continuity plans. Your regulators are contacting you for updates. You are addressing customer service and staff needs. You are also working with your vendors to determine how COVID-19 will impact the critical services they provide. It’s a strong start – but what’s next?

Everyone is working at top speed to answer that question and all the others that emerge in this rapidly changing crisis. Read More.

Hecht and Mercer Added to Artisan Roster
Artisan Advisors is pleased to announce that we have added two exceptional banking specialists to our roster: John Hecht and Ron Mercer.

John and Ron each bring decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge to Artisan. John’s C-suite track record for delivering results in both banking and corporate environments is undeniable and positions him well to provide insightful counsel to our clients on a broad range of issues. Ron’s entrepreneurial spirit and unparalleled reputation as an appraisal and workout expert combine to make him an invaluable asset on any client team. You can read more about them and their extensive experience below.  Read More.

Risky Business

I am not sure how long this pandemic will last. It will pass, but when? A stimulus package is on the way - a package designed not just to provide immediate relief, but to move the economy back to pre-virus vitality. This, of course, will require the United States to turn on the economic switch, to open the markets up, and get people back to work. Again, the question is when? Read More.

The Leap from Theory to Practice - Putting Your Business Continuity and Crisis Plans to Work

The COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve hour by hour throughout the world. The timeline for flattening the curve remains unclear. In response, federal and state governments around the country have become more aggressive in their actions to stem the spread of the virus. Clearly, we as a country are learning how to deal with a pandemic crisis on the fly. Read More.

Optimism – and a Solid Business Continuity Plan – are your Best Friends Right Now

Bankers’ attitudes about the Coronavirus pandemic mostly mirror that of the larger population. There are a number of bankers who think Coronavirus will be a short-term negative blip in what will continue to be strong operating performance over the next several years, while other bankers think this pandemic will make the financial crisis of 2008-2010 look like a walk in the park. Read More.

The Real Estate Report

The Quarterly Real Estate Report for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin. This helpful resource is your guide to economic and real estate outlooks for the upcoming quarter. 

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