Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Cummings, CEO of Investors Bank

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kevin Cummings earned his MBA in professional accounting in 1977 from Rutgers Business School. Today, Kevin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Investors Bank.

What factors did you consider when choosing to be a student at Rutgers?

I chose the MBA in Professional Accounting at Rutgers because it offered both affordability and an excellent education.  The 70-credit program was attractive to me because it could be completed in 14 months, and it was good.  I was able to concentrate on the program, complete it, and start my career in public accounting. I earned a BA in Economics from Middlebury College in 1976 and was able to start the Rutgers program that summer, a week after my graduation.

Rutgers MBA Alumni Spotlight

Where are you employed and what are you doing?

I was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Investors Bank, the third largest bank headquartered in New Jersey, on January 1, 2008, and appointed to the Board of Directors as well.  From July 2003 to January 2008, I served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. I strongly believe that “making a difference in the community” is important and a vital component of the success of Investors Bank. During our IPO in 2005, we had the opportunity to establish the Investors Bank Foundation, which supports a number of educational, social and cultural organizations in the communities where the bank does business.  A recent accomplishment during my tenure was leading the bank through a strategic transformation to become a full-service bank.  Investors Bank has been recognized for this culture and business transformation when I received the ‘Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 New Jersey Award for Transformational Businesses.’

I am also a certified public accountant and, prior to joining Investors, had a 26 year career with KPMG, serving as an audit and consulting partner in the financial services practice.

What are your interests/hobbies?

As I mentioned, making a difference is important, and I personally give back through a number of volunteer activities with a number of non-profit organizations.  Along with bank partners and employees from Investors, I volunteer at the St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Newark, and with the Food Pantry.  I also serve on numerous boards and have coached youth basketball in my community.

I’m also a sports enthusiast, and enjoy playing golf and basketball.  In fact, I still play basketball with some of my former partners from KPMG, customers and vendors, when we attend the annual Big East Tournament together.  I also have a weekly basketball game on Saturdays at 7am. It is not pretty, but it is fun.

This past year I served as the Grand Marshall of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Do you have any advice for students interested in getting in the finance field?

Don’t worry about your pay on the first job, would be my advice to students interested in entering the finance field.  Focus more on gaining experience than what you are earning.

Rutgers MBA Alumni

Kevin Cummings, Rutgers MBA '77, CEO of Investors Bank

If you could invite anyone from any time who was associated with RBS for a dinner, who would they be?

I would have dinner with Professor Leo McMenimen, who taught accounting at Rutgers when I was a student.  He was a good teacher and had a genuine concern for his students.

What would we find on your bookstand?

"The Go Giver" by Bob Burg and "The Servant Leader" by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges.

Do you have children, and where do they attend school?

I was born and raised in Jersey City, one of five siblings.  Patricia, my wife of 31 years, and I reside in Summit, NJ.  We have two sons and two daughters:  Katie, a graduate of Bowdoin College, Kevin, a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Mary, a graduate of Colby College, and William, a student at the College of the Holy Cross.

TAGS: Alumni In the Spotlight MBA in Professional Accounting