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McKay Upholds ABECU Tradition of Customer Service, Growth

At the beginning of March, Bob McKay officially took the reins as chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union (St. Louis). Before stepping into the position, McKay spent most of February at the credit union, where he became familiar with ABECU’s culture, policies and procedures. In addition, he had the chance to work with Dave Osborn, his predecessor, and the rest of ABECU’s senior management.

“I’m really fortunate to have been left a great organization,” says McKay. “Dave Osborn was a terrific leader. He really made his mark on the industry and Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union. ABECU has a strong foundation that we can continue to build on for years to come.”

In 1995, he worked for Baxter Credit Union (Vernon Hills, Ill.), which had $300 million in assets, and all mortgages were outsourced. Under his leadership, BCU boasted more than $2 billion in assets in 2014, and its employees processed all mortgages internally.

“More than 10 percent of BCU’s members have their mortgage through the credit union,” says McKay. He explained that developing BCU’s mortgage department was one of his proudest moments during his career.

In addition to leading BCU to unprecedented growth, McKay helped create the CUSO, Member Loyalty Group. Established in 2008, six credit unions formed the CUSO to solve a common credit union problem—measuring, managing and taking action on member feedback.

“Through collaboration, our credit unions were able to create a product that we couldn’t have possibly brought to fruition on our own,” says McKay.

Before Credit Unions

McKay’s life-long career in finance began immediately after he graduated from Washington University in 1983. He accepted a position with the Household Finance Corporation (HFC), where he cultivated a robust knowledge of the financial industry.

“You got a lot of experience really quickly,” says McKay. “It was great for that. I managed branch offices, worked in operations, ran collections and lending departments, managed projects at HFC’s headquarters and ran the marketing for home equity lending.”

After 11 years at HFC, he was ready for the next chapter in his career. He interviewed with several companies, and one happened to be with BCU’s CEO at the time, Mike Valentine. Despite his unfamiliarity with credit unions, McKay knew the lending and customer service philosophies well—both Valentine and his predecessor, Rex Johnson, had worked for HFC and implemented the philosophies they had learned while employed there.

“When I first came from Household, one of the first significant differences I saw was the collaboration between credit unions,” says McKay. “I was impressed with how willing people were to work together to do things better.” 

McKay is originally from New Jersey, coming to the Midwest via Washington University. He has been married to his wife for 30 years, and they have two children.