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Robert Allen, TFCU president, CEO to retire

A search is going on for a successor to replace Allen, 72, who has held those jobs with Teachers Federal Credit Union since 1988.

Robert G. Allen, president and CEO of Teachers

Robert G. Allen, president and CEO of Teachers Federal Credit Union, seen here on Dec. 19, 2013, will be retiring in May. Photo Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

Robert G. Allen, the longtime president and chief executive of Hauppauge-based Teachers Federal Credit Union, will retire at the end of May, the financial cooperative announced.

Allen, 72, has held those positions since 1988, overseeing growth in assets from $250 million to $7.3 billion, and the expansion of branches from seven locations to 31 on Long Island and in Queens and Manhattan. A 32nd Long Island branch under construction in Stony Brook is scheduled to open in the fall.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Allen said he delayed retirement to oversee the integration of several 2018 acquisitions, including LOMTO Federal Credit Union in Woodside, Queens, Projector Federal Credit Union in Melville, and Melrose Credit Union in Briarwood, Queens.

"We did three [acquisitions] in four months," he said. "I was holding off until we got those out of the way."

Allen said the credit union's board of directors is "close to making a decision" on a successor following a national search that drew more than 100 applicants.

TFCU, founded exclusively for teachers in 1952, now has more than 325,000 members and ranks as Long Island's second largest credit union, based on assets, behind Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Allen said that TFCU has gradually expanded the scope of its charter, in part through acquisitions, and now can serve any customer nationwide.

Though questions about rebranding the credit union to remove the "Teachers" affiliation come up "continuously," Allen said the cooperative is hesitant to shed a name with a hard-earned reputation.

"We're trying to hang on to what we built," he said. 

Instead, the cooperative increasingly uses its initials, TFCU, much as Kentucky Fried Chicken has become KFC, he said.

The credit union also has expanded its array of services to include ATMs, mobile deposit and online bill payment services to keep up with commercial banks. 

Consolidation among credit unions is likely to continue, he said.

"There's an awful lot of small credit unions out there," Allen said. "They do have a harder time competing and maintaining efficiencies in the marketplace."

Before joining TFCU, Allen served as president and CEO of United Nations Federal Credit Union.

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