TAMPA, Fla. – After clearing regulatory hurdles from the Office of Thrift Supervision in June, the industry’s first nationally-chartered trust company recently received the final nod from another regulator to officially open for business. MEMBERS Trust Co., the newly-formed national trust cooperative providing trust services to credit union members, officially opened its doors for business Nov. 3 after receiving approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in mid-October, which completed the post-charter process started in June, when the federal OTS granted charter approval for MEMBERS Trust Co. to do business in all 50 states. “We are now ready to bring trust services to credit unions who have in the past had no choice but to send their members to a bank,” said Tom Walker, president and CEO of MEMBERS Trust Co. At an Oct. 28 organizational meeting in Tampa, representatives of the two trust company shareholders, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and CUNA Mutual Insurance Society, formally elected a board of directors and appointed Suncoast Schools President/CEO Tom Dorety as chairman. Directors also took action to complete the merger of the 16-year-old trust company at Suncoast Schools into MEMBERS Trust Company. There will be no changes to the services provided to existing clients of Suncoast Schools, former Members Trust Company in connection with the merger, Dorety said. Customers will continue to be served by the same trust officers and relationship management staff, and the terms of service remain unchanged. “In the past several weeks, MEMBERS Trust has been working with more than two dozen credit unions that have expressed interest in offering trust services,” said Francis Quinn, MEMBERS Trust Senior Vice President of Business Development and Investments. “We expect many of these to begin offering trust services either using the agency or the representative office operation option in early January, but some will open by year’s end.” MEMBERS Trust will have two setup options available to credit unions. The `agency office’ option establishes a trust presence in a particular state and requires a trust officer to be physically located in a credit union. The `representative office’ option is an extension of the credit union’s financial services program and does not require hiring a trust officer, but instead, utilizes the services of specially trained representatives to consult and make recommendations for trust services. The trust company expects to complete arrangements to open three to four agency offices by year end and an additional seven to 10 representative offices. Eight credit unions have opted for agency offices and the remaining credit unions are expected to open representative offices. In 2001, MEMBERS Development Co. (a partnership between credit unions/CUSOs and CUNA Mutual formed to develop new products and services) endorsed a strategy that would create a national credit union-owned trust cooperative. John Henry, CUNA Mutual Group Senior Vice President/CEO of MEMBERS Development Co., and Dorety assembled a team of trust professionals to turn that strategy into an operating business, giving credit unions of any size the ability to offer trust services. “Today, our vision of being the trust department for credit unions, with the credit union itself retaining control over member relationships, has become reality,” said Henry. He added that the economies of distribution that this national trust provides “greatly benefits credit unions.” “By contracting with MEMBERS Trust Company, the credit union CEO can avoid committing capital and managing the complexities an individual trust program entails,” Henry said. MEMBERS Trust offerings will include investment management, trust administration, estate planning, estate settlement, custody retirement plans and reverse mortgages. Board members are Henry; Blaine Rieke, retired CEO of Firstar Trust Company; Jonathan Rich, trust attorney, Holland & Knight LLP, Orlando; and Ed Callahan, retired CEO of Patelco Credit Union, San Francisco. MEMBERS Trust Co. executive staff is Walker, Quinn, Mary Tlachac, senior vice president of administration; Denise Giansante, senior trust officer; and Neil Archibald, corporate counsel/compliance. This team also serves as the Trust and Investment Committee. -

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