ANCHORAGE, Alaska – To meet the investment and insurance needs of the members who make up more than 450 select employee groups, Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union (DAFCU) recently formed Denali Alaskan Financial Services, LLC (DAFS). The credit union service organization is working with CUSO Financial Services (CFS), an independent broker, to offer financial products, including asset management, life insurance, annuities, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, securities and tax-deferred investments. While DAFS has been open for business since May, the last two months have been mostly a transition phase for its asset management services before building up its clientele base, said Michael Brogan, the registered representative who will work with Denali’s members. The process of forming DAFS started about a year ago when the credit union began to research several companies before aligning with CFS, which works exclusively with credit unions in the U.S, said Robert Teachworth, president/CEO of DAFCU. DAFCU is the third largest credit union in Alaska, with more than 35,000 members, $201 million in assets and has offices in Fairbanks, Juneau and Anchorage. A large portion of its FOM is based in Anchorage, the credit union’s headquarters. Still, DAFS’ reach will extend to members in remote parts of Fairbanks and Juneau initially through a toll-free phone number and later, with the hiring of additional representatives to serve those areas, said Keith Fernandez, DAFCU’s marketing director. While DAFS will serve the credit union’s entire membership base, Brogan said tweaks to certain services and products might be made to accommodate those with assets over $100,000. Meanwhile, educational seminars are scheduled to take place in the fall to educate investors on options like the “529,” a prepaid tuition plan that allows for investment in hefty amounts of stock and bond funds for as little as $25 a month and grows tax-free until withdrawn. “This will be a major push for us,” Brogan said. For the self-directed investor, DAFS has partnered with E*Trade to offer online brokerage accounts with the option to access per-fee services at any time. The CUSO will also offer online comparative insurance shopping and has already fielded a number of requests from American Samoa, Alaska and Michigan, Brogan said. On the corporate side, DAFS has a partnership with CFS to deal with such retirement options as pension plans, bonds, 401(k)s, Keoghs and SEPs, Fernandez said. The combination of “programs tailored to the credit union market” and proper asset management” are crucial elements to DAFS’ success, Teachworth said. “We want to give members a more thorough, broad-based approach to financial planning.” -

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