SECU chief Mike Lord to retire in August

The second-largest credit union in the country is on the hunt for a new chief executive.

Mike Lord, president and CEO of State Employees’ Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C.

Mike Lord, president and CEO of State Employees’ Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C., announced Wednesday that he plans to retire at the end of August.

The credit union’s board has hired Russell Reynolds Associates to find a successor, the company said in a press release.

Lord joined SECU in 1975 and served as chief financial officer for more than 30 years before succeeding longtime president and CEO Jim Blaine in 2016. Since taking over as CEO, Lord has overseen asset growth of more than 38% to reach $47.4 billion. Membership rose by 17% during that period for a current total of more than 2.5 million members.

“Mike has been an integral part of the SECU leadership and family for nearly five decades,” SECU Chairman Bob Brinson said in the release. “He has shared a wealth of knowledge and made many contributions over his tenure, which have helped us anticipate and better meet the needs of our members. We are extremely grateful to Mike for his leadership and commitment, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and wish him the best in his much-deserved retirement.”

Along with leading SECU through the pandemic, including a substantial increase in the number of employees working remotely, Lord has also overseen the adoption of business analytics at the credit union, as well as a variety of major philanthropic efforts from the credit union. He also led an effort to build more than 100 Habitat for Humanity homes, helping to fund hospice houses and other facilities, and a pledge to contribute as much as $10 million toward COVID relief efforts. Lord made news early in his tenure as CEO when he led SECU to reaffiliate with the Carolinas Credit Union League following a 2014 dispute over dual membership requirements between state leagues and the Credit Union National Association.

The credit union expects to have the new CEO in place at the time of Lord’s retirement. He will remain president and CEO through the transition period, the company said.

SECU earned roughly $130 million in the first three quarters of 2020, compared with $174 million for the same period in the prior year, according to National Credit Union Administration call report data.

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