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<p>SAN DIMAS, Calif. – WesCorp Investment Services, LLC, a broker-dealer subsidiary of WesCorp, recently completed its first primary underwriting of debt of the Federal Home Loan Bank. “When we go in this way we can select what kind of structure we’d like to see them do and the timing of it, rather than waiting for an issue. This gives us a little more control,” said Dwight Johnston, managing principal of WesCorp Investment Services, LLC. Johnston said issues can be as small as $5 million, but will more likely hover in the $10 to $15 million range. This first deal was for $15 million. It has a four-year maturity and a one-time, six-month call. WesCorp Investment Services can break the $15 million up over a number of CUs; in this first case it will be approximately seven CUs said Johnston. The bottomline of this authority is that credit unions don’t have to wait for a new issue to fulfill a portfolio need. Johnston said it would be rare that the FHLB wouldn’t meet a request. “The (Federal) Home Loan Bank has a tremendous amount of flexibility with what they can issue. If for some reason something doesn’t jive with what they’re doing at the time, they can say they have no interest at this time,” said Johnston. They have so much flexibility, that’s hard to imagine, he said. WesCorp Investment Services received its NASD membership in March 2000, but is only now really approaching full strength. “It takes a while to get a brokerage firm going. We wanted to take our time until we were certain we could be successful. WesCorp Investment Services is the only credit union-affiliated group to have this type of relationship with the FHLB. The subsidiary currently has a 12-person staff comprised of Johnston, five sales reps, three traders, and three working on investment advisory. Johnston said one of the primary roles WesCorp Investment Services hopes to play in the industry is being able to advise CUs on their investment decisions. He said the securities game can be tricky, and just because CUs don’t see a commission on a bond, for example, doesn’t mean they’re getting a fair price. “There can be a big mark-up built into the bond,” said Johnston. -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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