WALLINGFORD, Conn. and RICHARDSON, Texas – From wholesale to retail sounds just right for David Addison. Addison, president/CEO of Constitution State Corporate, will succeed Jim Bryan as president/CEO of Texans CU. Addison, 38, moves from the $1.7 billion Connecticut-based corporate to the $1.2 billion Texas-based billion dollar credit union on August 25. For Addison it was all about getting to where the action is. "The corporates, U.S. Central and the trade associations all support the credit unions. That's where the real business of our industry is done. I wanted to get close to that action where there's more innovation happening. This is where I've always wanted to be," said Addison. Not that there wasn't innovation at Constitution. It is in many ways a leading edge corporate. It was the first of what now seems to be a trend of corporates moving their core processing to Open Solutions, Inc., going against the grain and not going with Symitar, which U.S. Central is advocating. Constitution also has a thriving tech CUSO, SmartSource Solutions, which has approximately 70 credit union clients, including a number from the billion dollar club. SmartSource has been successful with its virtual boardroom product, Web site development and others. The corporate has added about 20% to its membership in the past three years. "I think if you talk to other corporates they'd classify us as one of the top three aggressive corporates," said Addison. Though corporates are large, Addison believes large credit unions can probably do more innovative things together than corporates. "While corporate credit unions have a lot of capital collectively, a few credit unions together collaboratively can bring a lot more capital. There's just more action with credit unions. Corporates have very homogenous product lines. We all do the same thing," said Addison. So far Addison's career has been corporate-based. Prior to the Constitution job, he was VP of e-Commerce, Payment and Technology Services for U.S. Central. Prior to that he was president/CEO of Louisiana Corporate Credit Union. He also served for seven years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. "I think this is the first time someone has made the move from corporate CEO to credit union CEO. This is what I wanted, to stay in the industry, just with natural person credit unions," he said. Addison has never been shy about his take on the corporate network. "Corporates as a whole are not where they need to be. A lot of that is attributable to laziness. There's not a lot of aggressiveness, not a lot of thinking out of the box. Some of them will keep doing the same thing until the market dries up," said Addison. That's not to say that all corporates are lacking innovation. The problem, said Addison, is the same core group of corporates are making the innovative moves, while the others stick to the same old, same old. He doesn't even think size is a factor when you talk about innovation. "At some point the economies of scale are not as important. What separates a great corporate from a good corporate is great vision and new products to differentiate themselves," he said. Addison believes consolidation among corporates will continue and as that happens U.S. Central will meet a crossroads. "U.S. Central is viewed as the enabler for small to medium-sized credit unions. I think as the number dwindles to 15 to 20 corporates, U.S. Central's role may change," he said. To what, he doesn't know. Going from Connecticut to Texas won't be hard for Addison. He's originally from Louisiana and attended graduate school at Texas A&M. "It's almost like going home," he said. Relocating with him will be his wife, two kids (his second born just a few weeks ago), and their three dogs. "Texans is an amazing credit union. With close to 11% in capital, $1.2 billion in assets and 150,000 members, it's a good place to be for my first credit union job. They're always looking to differentiate themselves through service and cutting-edge products," said Addison. No one knows more about Texans than the man he is succeeding, Jim Bryan. Bryan, 65, said though he's never met Addison, he thinks he's the right person for the job. "I hear he's an outstanding manager. The board is high on him. He'll come here and do a great job. My advice to him is to just hang on tight, it's going to be a fantastic ride," said Bryan. He leaves Addison a healthy CU that has just moved into the commercial lending arena. "The auto market is getting tougher and tougher. Commercial lending is a major program for us right now. There's an awful lot of money to lend out." You can't talk about Texas without talking about the three billion-dollar CUs that compete heavily in the same area – Texans CU, Community CU and Credit Union of Texas. "Our FOMs all overlap. We're all the same size roughly in assets and membership. For the most part, it's healthy competition," Bryan said. Bryan's retirement has been well known for months now, though he says he doesn't plan on completely retiring from the industry. He serves on the boards of CUNA Mutual, CUMIS and Texans Financial (a CUSO of the CU), and hopes to stay on those boards for at least the next five years. "I want to stay plugged in. These positions will keep me in the credit union system." But he is looking forward to spending more time at his lake cottage in East Texas (Piney Woods), where he enjoys golfing and boating. "My kids and grandkids come over to water ski a lot. The Piney Woods is a beautiful area of Texas." He and his wife plan to do some more travel, including a trip to Europe. Bryan never thought he'd be in credit unions this long. Back in 1974, he left a finance job at nearby Texas Instruments to take a finance job at the credit union. "I thought I'd try it for a while and go back to Texas Instruments." He did try it for a while-almost 30 years. [email protected]

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