The Madison, Wis.-based CUNA Strategic Services recently announced a financial investment in CU Solutions Group, which was formed in 2010 by combining several entities including CU Village, HRN, and Koker Goodwin into one company.
In July, the Livonia, Mich.-based CUSG merged its operations with CUcorp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates. Headquartered in Lansing, Mich., CUcorp serves the state’s credit unions with card services, lending products and consulting and partner relationships.
CUNA Strategic Services’ investment in CUSG will help the latter identify and expand on high quality products and services, said Wes Millar, senior vice president of CSS. In addition to an ownership stake in the CUSG, the move solidifies an existing marketing alliance between the two entities.
The previous pact was established to help bring greater awareness of CUSG’s partnerships to credit unions to help drive auto loans, build member loyalty and generate noninterest income, according to CUSG. The marketing agreement focuses on member offers and discounts for products and services like GM vehicles, Sprint wireless services, and Intuit TurboTax.
Millar said he could not share CSS’ actual financial investment amount in CUSG.
Discussions to build on CSS and CUSG’s marketing alliance began in 2012. Millar said CSS’ business model is to identify third-party products and services that can add value to credit unions. After a request for proposal screening the division chooses the best provider for the job. CUSG made the cut this time around.
“It just made sense to take an additional step with them. All of the benefits they provide go back to credit unions directly or indirectly,” Millar said.
“The investment made by CUNA Strategic Services into CU Solutions Group, in addition to our marketing alliance, further validates that our company is offering the right type of member enhancement solutions to credit unions across the nation,” Adams said in a statement.
CU Solutions Group serves the credit union industry by offering solutions in the areas of marketing, technology, membership enhancements, performance management and lending & insurance. It was formed out of the combination of CU Village and HRN Management Group, and is owned by hundreds of investors made up of leagues, credit unions and CUSOs, according to the MCUL.
When CUSG and CUcorp combined operations, Adams said at the time the merger helped to realize efficiencies and brand clarity. Post merger, CUSG has improved efficiencies while still providing strong return to the CUSO’s shareholders and continued value to its stakeholders, he said.