Job Posting Details

Chief Operating Officer, Connect First Credit Union

Location:Calgary, Alberta
Posting Date:October 24, 2019
Closing Date:until filled
Web Site:
Employment Type:Full-time


Connect First (CFCU) is one of the largest Credit Unions in Canada with over $6 billion in assets under administration, over 700 employees, 40 locations with 125,000 members. With 4 trusted local brands - Chinook Financial, First Calgary Financial, Mountain View Financial and Legacy Financial - Connect First offers its members a full range of financial products and services and a community-focused approach to banking. Connect First’s mission is to Make Money Make a Difference with a vision to be Alberta’s Neighbourhood Credit Union. In short, their values are to Think Big, Act Local, Take Charge and Make it Easy.

CFCU members are owners who have a say in how they operate, who earn dividends on common shares and investment shares, and have access to an extensive array of financial products and services. In 2018, Connect First was able to achieve above budgeted income for the year due in part to diligent expense management and asset growth. They are committed to providing outstanding experiences to their members, their communities, and their employees, and they are proud to be regarded as one of the best amongst their peers.

Connect First is a strong competitor in the financial services sector. Over the past several years they have: continued to grow their assets, footprint and member base through strategic amalgamations; created efficiencies through consolidating back-end functions to one Head Office location; continued to customize the member experience; invested strategically in both their digital and in-person channels; built meaningful complementary relationships and expanded non-retail lines of business.
 As a locally owned financial cooperative, CFCU has the unique opportunity to make a genuine and lasting contribution to the financial success of their employees, their members and the local communities. They contribute through both CFCU Branch-led initiatives like community investment & local events, as well as at the Corporate level through scholarships, key partnerships and shared region programs and projects.



The Chief Operating Officer directs and oversees the activities within the member facing divisions of the organization in support of the policies, goals, and objectives collaboratively established with the Chief Executive

This role is responsible for providing leadership and direction of the overall operations of: Retail Banking, Commercial/Business Banking, Wealth Management, Automotive Finance, and Marketing & Community. The Chief Operating Officer plans, implements and monitors an overall banking business strategy to achieve the profit and growth goals of the organization as well as operational excellence.

This position is a member of the ELT and collaborates with the other members of the ELT in delivering and achieving overall corporate results under the direction of the CEO. The COO, as a member of the ELT, is also responsible for leading and championing corporate culture.



  • Oversees the operational management and financial success of; Retail Banking, Commercial/Business Banking, Wealth Management, Automotive Finance, and Marketing & Community.
  • Provides strategic leadership for these member facing divisions; develops, implements and monitors operations strategies and plans that align and support the overall corporate business plan and strategic direction of the organization. Promotes and drives efficiencies, growth, long-term member relationships and market penetration.
  • Oversees marketing and community initiatives that increases brand recognition and enhances corporate social responsibility.
  • Ensures continuous improvement in sales and service delivery initiatives that maximize efficiency.
  • Identifies key priorities and initiatives utilizing technology, tools and resources.
  • Works collaboratively with senior executives and the CEO to achieve short and long-range objectives for the organization.
  • The Chief Operating Officer coaches, leads and develops all direct reports.
  • Ensures strategic objectives are translated into successful tactical plans with measurements in place to monitor progress and manage risk.
  • Establishes regular reviews of the member experience and member satisfaction, and action is taken where necessary.
  • Provides a positive and rewarding employee experience that fosters high levels of engagement and performance.
  • Ensures risk is effectively addressed in all aspects of the business and are compliant with all policies and regulatory/legislative requirements.
  • Monitors current and expected developments in the financial industry, identifies opportunities, trends and new emerging risks that will impact current/future strategy.
  • Creates the operations and capital budgets for the member facing divisions and then is responsible for overall objectives being achieved within timelines and budget.
  • Attends regular board meetings and various internal and external committees.
  • Represents the credit union in external environments coordinated with the CEO.



Builds Trusting Relationships

  • Engages stakeholder relationships and strengthens business networks across the broader financial community.
  • Seeks to deepen relationships founded on respect, diplomacy and genuine sincerity.
  • Maintains and role models personal credibility; instills confidence and trust in others.
  • Demonstrates commitment to organizational and stakeholder requirements above individual goals and preferences.
  • Is transparent and consistent in all words and actions.
  • Influences to gain commitment across organizational boundaries.
  • Enables cross-functional collaboration and removes potential barriers and ‘silos’.
  • Openly addresses issues and differences in a direct and transparent manner. 

Applies Strategic Agility

  • Anticipates the potential business impact of emerging industry and market trends in all areas of the business.
  • Proactively anticipates and works to mitigate potential risks and threats to the business.
  • Refines strategies, priorities and business plans in response to emerging issues.
  • Understands and interprets the ‘big picture’ and places opportunities, issues and initiatives in the context of the external environment.
  • Sets and articulates the strategic priorities and expectations of the organization in a clear and compelling manner.
  • Confidently presents well-informed opinions, suggestions and ideas.
  • Conceives logical conclusions from limited information.
  • Thinks critically about issues, distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information when making decisions.

Inspires People & teams

  • Creates support behind the vision of the organization, actively contributing to establishing the spirit and essence of the organization.
  • Role models and champions organizational values.
  • Consistently recognized for building and leading high performing teams.
  • Fosters a culture of rigorous people development.
  • Takes an active role as a coach, mentor and developer of talent.
  • Builds leadership through empowering others and delegating appropriate levels of authority and decision-making responsibility.
  • Actively listens and probes to understand nuances in communication and messages.
  • Delivers timely and actionable feedback.
  • Solicits and respects feedback from others.
  • Recognizes and celebrates team and individual successes.

Enables Innovative Change

  • Advocates for necessary change.
  • Mobilizes resources and confidently guides others through change, ambiguity and uncertainty.
  • Challenges the status quo and inspires others to embrace different ways of doing business.
  • Effectively communicates change, providing relevant and timely information.
  • Fosters experimentation, curiosity, creativity and innovation.
  • Operates effectively with limited information, taking calculated risks and making sound decisions.
  • Accepts and learns from mistakes.
  • Perseveres in the face of resistance.
  • Finds creative ways to overcome obstacles and barriers to change.

Drives Business Results 

  • Achieves results that impact the P&L in obvious and meaningful ways.
  • Translates strategies into actionable plans and expectations.
  • Holds self and others accountable to agreed scorecard measures and goals.
  • Proactively addresses performance issues.
  • Makes timely decisions to avoid delays in moving forward.
  • Discerns focus to achieve strategic priorities amidst simultaneous priorities and competing demands.
  • Does not back down from tough decisions or challenging conversations.
  • Creates an appropriate sense of urgency in pursuing organizational goals.



Integrity and Trust - Uncompromising integrity and honesty, does not ethically cut corners, unassailable business values. Will put the organization above self-interest. Treats people fairly and with dignity. Is willing to admit mistakes. Works hard to earn and maintain a high level of trust with the CEO, executive team, employees and the Board. 
Professional Excellence – Demonstrates perseverance, self-confidence, initiative. Ability to work independently and contribute in a value-added way to objectives. Manages multiple priorities at once. Organized, disciplined, willing and able to work with a wide range of stakeholders.
Enabling Leadership - Works collaboratively with team members in order to achieve a common goal. Maintains and strengthens relationships with others, both inside and outside the organization. Both strategic and visionary, tactical and hands-on. A leader who develops, empowers and inspires people and grows their capacity as professionals. 
Collaboration - Desire and proven ability to make a significant impact through collaboration. Embraces collaboration as an operating style, encourages participation, fosters open dialogue. Utilizes a high degree of collaboration to make sound decisions, develop thinking beyond current boundaries and make innovative ideas practical. 
Personal Accountability - Leads with humility and authenticity. Advocate of open, empathetic and respectful communication with both members and employees. Balanced, with a strong sense of ownership. Uses sound personal judgement to solve problems and make decisions. 



A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits. Relocation will be provided if required by the successful candidate. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.

Allan Nelson or Shalini Bhatty
Leaders International Executive Search