DUBLIN, Ireland -- CUNA Mutual Group's International Division has expanded its European operations by opening new European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
CUNA Mutual opened the doors on its new overseas location on May 1 with Ireland's Minister for Innovation Policy Michael Ahern. The expansion comes at the end of a three-year transformation effort at CUNA Mutual.
"With the opening of this office, we're positioning for the future," said Sue Albrecht, senior vice president of international business at CUNA Mutual. "We're energized to grow and make a difference around the world by providing people with access to financial well-being."
CUNA Mutual has had a small office outside Dublin for several years and chose the city for its new headquarters because of its insurance rules, regulation and governance encourage business. Also, Albrecht said that their tax structure is advantageous.
"We feel this is the right business environment, and our values align very well with our target market opportunities," Albrecht said. "The Irish credit unions are very strong, and we believe we can increasingly leverage the products and services we developed in the U.S. to support both credit unions and other cooperatives, such as building societies.
At the new headquarters, Albrecht said that CUNA Mutual will not only be serving credit unions and their members in the region but also cooperatives and other values-aligned affinity groups and their members.
"We see great opportunities for growth for CUNA Mutual in the European market," said Jeff Post, CUNA Mutual president/CEO. "We believe the values and characteristics that contributed to our growth in the U.S. and other countries will serve us well in this part of the world."
One of the things CUNA Mutual is looking to offer the European market is its fidelity bond coverage. Albrecht said that while many companies offer products such as credit life and credit disability insurance they are not delivered with the same core values as with CUNA Mutual.
"Our competitive advantage is that we are more aligned with our customers, both organizations and their members and understand the challenges they face," Albrecht said. "We believe credit unions and other affinities will want to do business with us for the same reason their members have chosen them over a bank."
Another opportunity within the European market that CUNA Mutual cites as one of its reasons for overseas expansion is underserved populations.
"We also believe that there are a number of underserved populations in Central and Eastern Europe that would greatly benefit from our traditional insurance offerings, and over time, we hope to leverage our European operations to bring support to those areas and their people," Albrecht said.
CUNA Mutual also has international operations in Canada, Australia, Korea and Latin America.