Your Financial Future
The wobbly legs of the financial sector are difficult to ignore. In 2007, financial companies became constant bearers of bad tidings. Although the sector is generally exempt from such news, announcements of layoffs have streamed from the newswire throughout the year. According to Reuters, 2007 has seen the financial sector contributing heavily to a second-half upswing in unemployment. Among other companies, the following announced downsizing: Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, Citigroup and HSBC—mostly due to the year’s much-reported bursting of the real estate bubble.
Considering the undeniable instability of the financial industry, Print Professional asked industry suppliers about this unpredictable marketplace to find out which products can keep suppliers secure in their own financial futures.
Larry Willman, product manager at Wilmer in Coldwater, Ohio, has dealt with printing and forms for 25 years, having worked with Wilmer, Eastman Kodak and Standard Register. Steve Clarke, national account manager, central region, for General Financial Supply (GFS), a division of Ennis located in Nevada, Iowa, has worked in the forms industry for 20 years, and joined the GFS team in 2006. Both financial market specialists surprisingly affirm the vitality of the industry—regardless of layoffs permeating the nightly news.
PP: When did your company start serving the financial sector? What led to the decision to do so?
Willman: [In] 1926, we started servicing the financial sector with manual business checks and forms to fulfill a demand in the small-business marketplace.
Clarke: [GFS] has served the financial community since 1962. Early on, GFS recognized the need for high-quality MICR documents that would function in the banks’ high-speed MICR environments. Quality MICR documents were crucial to attaining desired read rates with a minimum of downtime.
PP: How is the financial products portion of your business [faring] this year?
Clarke: The financial products sold by GFS continue to grow with sales this year, surpassing last year’s efforts. In addition, the number of traditional forms distributors ... beginning to sell financial forms has increased over the past several years, too.