Case Study: CFO Executive Search for Addition Financial | Top CFO Search Firm

      Case Study: CFO Executive Search for Addition Financial

      Client: Addition Financial Credit Union
      Industry: Financial Services/ Banking
      Objective: Recruit a proven industry experienced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to support and guide financial strategies for the billion-plus asset institution.


      Addition Financial, a prominent billion+ asset credit union based in Lake Mary, Florida, sought to enhance its leadership team by recruiting a Chief Financial Officer with a strong background in finance and strategic leadership. The credit union, known for its commitment to community involvement and educational initiatives, required a CFO capable of sustaining its financial health and supporting its mission-driven approach.


      The challenge lay in finding a candidate who not only possessed extensive experience in the financial sector, particularly within credit unions or similar institutions but also shared Addition Financial’s values, particularly its focus on community and education. Additionally, the ideal candidate needed to bring innovative thinking to the role to keep up with the evolving financial landscape.


      1. Profiling and Requirements: Initial consultations with Addition Financial’s executive team helped define the specific skills and experience needed. The profile sought was a seasoned financial leader with proven expertise in managing large asset portfolios and a background in sectors like public accounting, healthcare, and investments. Certifications such as CPA and CTP were considered essential.
      2. Targeted Search: Utilizing industry contacts, databases, and professional networks, we conducted a targeted search for candidates with the requisite background. Special attention was given to professionals with experience in leadership roles within credit unions or financial institutions with a strong community focus.
      3. Rigorous Selection Process: Candidates underwent a series of interviews and assessments designed to evaluate their financial acumen, leadership skills, and alignment with Addition Financial’s culture. This process included behavioral interviews, technical assessments, and strategy formulation exercises.
      4. Stakeholder Engagement: We facilitated meetings between the candidates and key stakeholders at Addition Financial to assess chemistry and mutual fit, ensuring that the new CFO would effectively collaborate with other executives and the board.
      5. Reference and Background Checks: Comprehensive checks were performed to verify candidates’ professional histories, certifications, and personal integrity.


      Qing Lu was appointed as the new CFO of Addition Financial. With over 18 years of financial experience, including roles as EVP/CFO at Farm Credit West and CFO at Northwest Community Credit Union, Lu’s background was perfectly aligned with the requirements. Her extensive experience in different sectors, along with her professional qualifications (CPA and CTP), positioned her as the ideal candidate.

      Lu’s initial focus areas included:

      • Financial Strategy Revamp: Developing a comprehensive financial strategy to bolster asset growth and improve service offerings.
      • Community and Educational Programs: Enhancing the credit union’s involvement in community and educational initiatives, aligning financial strategies with social goals.
      • Innovative Financial Practices: Introducing innovative practices to improve financial operations and member services.


      The successful placement of Qing Lu as CFO marked a significant enhancement in Addition Financial’s executive leadership. Her experience, aligned with the credit union’s mission and values, prepared Addition Financial to navigate future challenges while continuing its growth and community engagement.

      About Addition Financial Credit Union

      Addition Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, offering comprehensive financial solutions that help members achieve their financial goals. We exist solely for the benefit of our members, and we return our profits to them in the form of lower loan rates, higher dividends on savings, and lower fees. Our members have built Addition Financial into a billion dollar institution, rated 5-stars for our strength and security. And in return, Addition Financial has been there for our members and the communities we serve throughout Central Florida, since 1937.

      About Cowen Partners Executive Search

      Cowen Partners is the nation’s premier human resources executive search firm, enabling companies to harness the power of human capital to fuel their success. At Cowen Partners, our HR recruiters gives our clients access to the top 1% of human capital to create opportunities that accelerate their growth and market share. With Cowen Partners, clients can grow at scale, create value, and drive results with world class talent. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations.

      Clients are typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include VP and director level leadership roles.

      With our proven processes and guaranteed results, our HR headhunters and recruiters have successfully placed hundreds of candidates in industries including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, and private equity.

      Contact us if you would like help recruiting world class talent.

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