Third Federal Savings and Loan

By William Barnett, Heather MacDonald Stefanski
1999 | Case No. SM45 | Length 14 pgs.
Ben S. Stefanski and his wife Gerome founded Third Federal Savings and Loan in 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio. Under Stefanski’s leadership Third Federal expanded slowly and by 1987 was the number one home lender in Cleveland. In 1988 Marc Stefanski, Ben Stefanski’s son, took over and began a major transformation at Third Federal. Marc Stefanski’s goal was to eliminate the top-down leadership style of the past and develop a culture based on love, trust, respect, and a commitment to excellence. Marc Stefanski began by hiring a senior management team and by pushing decisions down into the organization. In early1999, Third Federal took a huge risk, opening eight new branches: four in Columbus, Ohio and four in Cincinnati, Ohio. With all this change, Marc Stefanski and his management team had a lot to with which to grapple. They wondered how they could meet their objective: “To be number one or number two in market share and widen the gap” in these new markets, as Stefanski put it. They also were concerned that they might not be able to transfer the culture that Stefanski and his team had all worked so hard to develop into the new markets. As they expanded, they wondered if Third Federal would be able to keep its focus on existing markets. And there was the question of what should come next? Third Federal had built up a substantial net worth over the last 60 years. How should the company best leverage its resources and capabilities to grow?

Learning Objective

To explore strategy management and change management in a small/family business.
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