NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Motivated by what credit union investment program managers are doing in California, six executives are hoping to replicate a networking group model to bring colleagues together in their respective states.
A few years ago, a group of investment executives at several California credit unions came together in informal meetings each quarter to discuss timely issues in the investment and broker-dealer space. The gatherings spawned the creation of the Credit Union Professional Managers Association (CU Times, May 28, 2008). The group of 30 now meet several times a year and recently held its second annual meeting.
During a May conference call, six credit union executives agreed to launch PMA groups in their respective regions, said Pete Snyder, vice chairman of NACUSO's board of directors. NACUSO is putting together a section on its Web site (www.nacuso.org) that contains resources for those interested in starting their own groups.
The six individuals who are looking to kick off their own PMA groups are David Wood, vice president of investment services, ENT CU; Stephanie Sherrodd, vice president, diversified services, Texas Dow Employees FCU; Scott Jenner, president/CEO, investment services division, Addison Avenue FCU; Michael Prior, president/CEO of Credit Union Financial Network; Susan Zahn, business development manager New England FCU; and Carolyn Cereghino, director of investment services, Boeing FCU.
Snyder said over the next few months, the six executives will send out feelers to gauge interest and will come together most likely in October or September for a progress report. Zahn of $618 million New England FCU, said she sees the groups as a way to accelerate learning.
"There are many different ways to organize your investment program, be it a broker-dealer, dual employee or managed employee," Zahn said. "Regardless of the model, we're all trying to do the same thing. There are many experiences and great ideas we can share."
Zahn said with the myriad of dynamics having an impact on credit unions' collaboration can only be an asset to help move the industry forward.
"We need [fee income] to balance out interest cycles and then you have the baby boomer demographics and the aging of our members. These are times when we can benefit from collaboration," Zahn said.
Sandra deChastain, vice president of investments at $7.7 billion SchoolsFirst FCU, and one of the early founders of the CUPMA group in California, is amazed at the interest coming in from across the country.
"The potential PMAs that are interested are all great leaders and I am sure they will guide their groups and create great synergy in their areas," deChastain said. "Our intent with the PMA model is to use [what] the larger or more experienced program managers share and help others that may just be starting their investment program or learning how to take the program to the next level."
Wood of $2.3 billion ENT, will be "a wonderful resource and a dynamic person" to spark interest in the Colorado area, deChastain said. Likewise, Jenner from $2 billion Addison Avenue FCU, "is definitely a leader and also well connected." Meanwhile, a group in Northern California is also gearing up, deChastain said, adding she's happy to see the effort underway given the many larger credit unions concentrated in that area of the state.
For those interested in starting their own groups, contact Snyder at 916-749-7391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.