Mick and Judy Guttau, TS Banking Group, Treynor Iowa
Shortly after his discharge from the Army in 1971, Mick Guttau started working as a universal banker at Treynor State Bank, an Iowa community bank chartered in 1925. In 1978, using the family farm as collateral, Mick and his wife, Judy – a former schoolteacher, bought the bank, which has been on an expansion path ever since. It was branded as TS Bank in 2005 and has acquired other banks to maintain its pattern of growth. It now has seven branches in Iowa and $430 million in assets.
In addition, TS Bank has the largest Iowa state-chartered C-Corp trust department west of Des Moines with nearly $290 million in assets. Banking is a family affair for the Guttaus; their daughter Heidi Guttau-Fox joined the board of directors in 2000. In 2003, their son Joshua Guttau joined the bank and now serves as CEO. Mick remains chairman of the board of TS Banking Group and Judy serves as board secretary.
BN: What are the pluses and perils in two-banker families?
Judy: One peril is when a spouse who is a detailed person asks a banking question at 10:30 p.m. when the other spouse is trying to disconnect and go to sleep! However, the resolution we have come to agree to try not to talk business when at home…or at least not after supper time. Most of the time this works for us!
Mick: There are many pluses, such as the ability to work with the most important person in your life. You may not always see each other each day, but knowing the other one is there has value. There is also the dual access for employees and clients when one is absent. Plus, there is a deeper understanding of what your husband or wife might be going through when facing opportunities and challenges.
BN: Will your bank be introducing any new products or programs this year?
Judy and Mick: We are developing our TS Prosperity Group (formerly known as Wealth Management) at all locations and acquisitions. And we will continue growing the TS Ag Finance Division.
BN: How are you changing how you market to your customers?
Judy and Mick: In recent years we have increased marketing through all electronic media, which we will continue exploring. We are continuing development of all relationship managers who work one-on-one with clients. In addition, we are developing financial literacy programs through the TS Institute, which has reached 10,000 individuals in recent years.
Mick: Our focus is on client success, not just client satisfaction. We want to ignite prosperity in all our communities. We strive to be more than a community bank; we are a community prosperity engine.
BN: What are they keys to a productive work force at your bank?
Judy and Mick: Communication and training are important, but we also believe it is important to cultivate our intentional and heartfelt company culture and core values as we grow. This means making sure all managers and employees understand, “The Troops Come First.”
BN: What do you consider to be your greatest opportunities (or challenges) this year?
Judith and Mick: We both just turned 70 – so getting up and getting to work can be a challenge! But the great opportunity is being challenged and motivated by the opportunity to work with millennials and other employees, most of whom are younger than us!
Mick: Focusing on the agriculture situation and working with borrowers to address challenges in their ag operations.