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SAN DIMAS, Calif. – For most people 25 years is a hell of a career; but WesCorp President/CEO Dick Johnson is still trying to catch up to his 30-year “first” career. Johnson recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with WesCorp. While impressive, this silver anniversary is sill a bit behind his 30-years with the U.S. Marine Corps where he retired as a Colonel. He spent 10 of his years in the Marines in intelligence and is keeping a close eye on America’s military actions in the Middle East. “I pay a lot of attention to it. I keep a map and keep up to date with what the military is doing, trying to figure out where our options are,” said Johnson, who admits that today’s military is a lot different from his day. “The weapons of modern warfare are greater than when I left the Marine Corp. They’re very sophisticated and do a lot more,” he said. “I’m delighted that we have Rumsfeld, Powell and Chaney advising the president. I have confidence in our leaders,” said Johnson. Speaking of leaders, Johnson has been a great one for the $16 billion WesCorp, but he credits his and WesCorp’s success to the terrific people working with him and the confidence CUs have developed in WesCorp, evident by the $1 billion capital mark WesCorp reached in September. “Every one of those dollars represents our members’ ownership stake in WesCorp, their continued support and loyalty in WesCorp,” he said. When Johnson arrived at WesCorp in 1976 it had just $70 million in assets. Today it is the largest corporate with over $16 billion. Johnson said the corporate obviously benefits from serving credit unions in California, which have more CU assets than in any other state (15% of nation’s CU assets), but WesCorp’s reach is much greater. “We have membership in 29 states. We never called them; they called on us.” Being big has its advantages, but also its pitfalls. “I think it scares people. We think there’s mid-sized and small credit unions who say, `they’re so big, why do they care about us?’ We never ask for asset size when you call here. We do whatever needs to be done for all our members,” said Johnson. He admits that he went against the grain when he arrived at WesCorp, and credits that for its rapid growth. “From the very beginning my goal was to increase capital. To do that the wisdom at the time was you build income by having bigger spreads. I thought that isn’t the way to do it. If you take a bigger spread, you’re offering less to your members. The secret is to offer more for your members, take a smaller spread and entice people to put money in WesCorp. Working on very, very small spreads was a story I had trouble selling at that time.” Size does allow WesCorp to do things others can’t. “We have the money to experiment with things, like our derivatives program,” said Johnson. [email protected]

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