LAS VEGAS -- Beyond the legal documentation and regulatory requirements needed to form a CUSO is a committed investment of trust and knowing what the expectations are.
That's according to Guy Messick, general counsel for NACUSO, speaking at the association's annual conference here two weeks ago. Messick told attendees the most successful CUSOs are those where the CEO says "I don't care if this makes you uncomfortable, this is the way we do business." Those who buy into the vision should be rewarded based on their performance and the amount of service brought to the CUSO, he suggested.
"There's a lot of emotion tied into developing a CUSO," Messick said. "There's a lot of trust needed. When [a CUSO] fails, it's because of a misalignment of expectations." Messick said unfortunately, collaboration is undermined at the middle management level: "We have to communicate that it's not 'us versus them.' When you deal with [CUSOs], it's you."
To that end, Messick and NACUSO are encouraging credit unions to develop "strategic partner managers" to coordinate relationships with service providers and third parties.
Before entering into a CUSO arrangement, Messick advised attendees to "make sure expectations match" and ask "are you going to be a good partner when I need you?"