DENVER – As SunCorp celebrates its 25th year, CEO Eric Kenealy said he feels good about the corporate’s ability to establish itself as a true regional corporate, a path he believes the corporate network is moving toward. While some like to speculate on just how many corporates will be around year after year, Kenealy believes the number isn’t as important as the nature of the surviving corporates, which he says will be regional. “I think SunCorp has really established itself as a regional corporate serving the Mountain Plains Region. That being said we serve credit unions in 17 states,” said Kenealy. The five core states SunCorp serves are Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Nebraska. It’s no secret how SunCorp became a regional corporate – mergers, or as Kenealy likes to call them “partnerships.” “Some corporates market against each other to gain market share and to grow. We felt early on the best way to grow was to partner with other corporates to build the economies of scale. You have to go into it with a true partnership in mind,” said Kenealy. SunCorp completed two mergers in a span of 18 months, the first in 2000 with Rocky Mountain Corporate CU, and then in 2001 with Nebraska Corporate Central FCU. To be truly successful, mergers have to be beneficial to the member CUs says Kenealy, while giving CUs a voice in the corporate. With mergers galore these days there’s a lot of talk about what a merged corporate’s board will look like. SunCorp has used a very simple formula through its mergers – proportional relationship. “If you drew a pie chart of our members from the different states, our board makeup should look the same way,” said Kenealy. Currently SunCorp’s board has four seats for Colorado, three for Utah, and one each from Nebraska, Wyoming and Idaho. SunCorp was actually part of the first ever corporate credit union merger back in 1979 when it merged with Wyoming Corporate FCU. Back then SunCorp was known as Colorado Corporate FCU. SunCorp’s official legal name is actually System United Corporate FCU, though it goes by SunCorp in all of its branding. The first corporate merger isn’t the only innovative move SunCorp has made in its 25-year history. “Back in the early `80s when the Monetary Control Act was passed SunCorp was very fast into getting into FedWires, providing deposits through the Fed and taking advantage of al the correspondent services that were available through the U.S. payment system. We remarketed them and provided them to credit unions,” said Kenealy. Automated settlement programs are one of the most overlooked product areas of corporates, said Kenealy. “That’s really what allows all of our members to settle all of their transactions with all of their business partners on a daily basis in a seamless fashion.” It is also a leading corporate in bill payment, with over 50 CUs signed and is now embarking on broker/dealer services through U.S. Central’s ISI subsidiary. SunCorp’s item processing business grew substantially with its merger with Rocky Mountain Corporate and last year SunCorp purchased the item processing business from the Colorado CU League. Though having just joined the corporate as CEO in 2000, Kenealy has a strong sense of tradition. At the corporate’s upcoming annual meeting in Denver all of the CEOs the corporate has ever had will be in attendance. “That will be a great group photo,” said Kenealy. SunCorp’s first CEO was former Colorado CU League President Carroll Beach, as back then the league and corporates were run together. Next came Steve Newell, Duane Bruno, Steve Davis and then Kenealy. Some differentiators of SunCorp and other corporates in Kenealy’s eyes are SunCorp’s close ties with the leagues in its five core states and its belief in Paid-in-Capital. The corporate has issued about $21 million in PIC and has an offering ongoing. “It’s a little bit more permanent than membership shares which can be withdrawn with three-years notice. We reward those members who buy PIC with a higher rate on their PIC accounts,” said Kenealy. Will SunCorp be around in another 25 years? “No question,” said Kenealy. [email protected]

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