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CARLSBAD, Calif. – XCU Capital Corp. has garnered yet another alliance that will bring estate management services to more than 2.6 million credit union members. The credit union-owned broker/dealer has partnered with Phoenix National Trust, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of The Phoenix Companies, Inc., to provide such services as life insurance trusts, living trusts, charitable trusts, trusts under will, rollover IRAs, and estate settlement. The partnership stems from ongoing discussions with credit union clients who were interested in having the niche services available, said Mark Allen, XCU Capital president/CEO. “This is the culmination of talking about what would be the best way to provide services to members,” Allen said. Investment representatives at XCU Capital’s 24 credit union clients will refer members to Phoenix’s representatives. Phoenix provides administrative, trust, custodial capabilities and other fiduciary services to high-net-worth individuals, senior corporate executives, business owners, and not-for-profit organizations. Allen said because trust services are typically used by the more affluent, there was an emphasis on researching and finding long-established firms that have built solid reputations on nurturing long-term client relationships. After considering a number of options including having an in-house division and a national operation, Allen said it was financially more prudent to align with Phoenix. XCU Capital, which had an existing mutual fund and annuity partnership with Phoenix, will receive a fee from the firm for each member referred. Phoenix is the first of at least three trust firms XCU Capital plans to partner with, Allen said, adding that just as members can choose from among a plethora of mutual funds, they should have similar choices with estate management. He expects another provider to come aboard in early 2003. XCU Capital recently added Justice Federal Credit Union of Chantilly, Va., and Heritage Community Credit Union of Rancho Cordova, Calif. to its growing partner list which now stands at 24 clients. In September, the firm exceeded the $1 billion mark in assets for the first time in its 15-year history. The company started 2002 with 22,800 clients and $783.9 million in assets under administration. Since then, ten additional credit unions became owners and 11 credit unions signed new service agreements with the broker/dealer. As trust services blossom within the credit union industry, including a nationally-chartered effort underway from CUNA Mutual Group, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and others, Allen doesn’t feel threatened by growing competition. “If the market is there for it, if there are enough members and credit unions are willing to pay for it, a national trust firm sounds like a great idea,” Allen said. Indeed, if a national operation were to launch, Allen said XCU Capital would certainly look to participate in a partnership. “We actually looked at taking that step but the analysis up to now, just didn’t support it,” he added. -

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