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COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s only been about five months since a new corporate network-owned CUSO acquired Corporate One’s brokered CD program, but it’s already boosting business. Corporate Exchange, a CUSO owned by all 29 corporates, acquired SimpliCD from Corporate One’s CUSO Primary Financial in late August of last year. Corporate Exchange then took on the name Primary Financial for the familiarity factor. Since the deal was done, the number of co-agents of SimpliCD has gone from 16 to 26 with a few more corporates set to sign on as co-agents. More proof of growth is in the number of CUs using SimpliCD. In August the number was 1,813; in January 20004 it was 2,141 or 21.8% of all CUs. The total outstandings increased from $3.1 billion in August to $3.31 billion as of last month. There’s no one with a better historical perspective of SimpliCD then its VP/Director of Trading Chris Lewis who has been there from the beginning. Lewis said the SimpliCD hasn’t reaped all the benefits of its expanded relationships just yet. “We’ve spent much of the last three or four months getting marketing materials out, getting members to get the program in front of their credit unions. The process is going to be one of slow growth. It’s going to take a while,” said Lewis. He noted that about half of the new corporate co-agents have been aggressive, while the other half are taking it slow. Why has SimpliCD been so successful? Service and flexibility is often touted, but return may be the biggest factor. For example on Jan. 23 a one-year $1 million investment in SimpliCD yielded a 1.89% return, compared to 1.10% for Treasury and a 1.22% for a bullet agency. A two-year SimpliCD investment yielded 2.28%, compared to 1.83% for an agency. In January alone SimpliCD picked up $85 million in outstandings. “Some of the specials we’ve run have been 100 basis points over agencies. Obviously you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and buy SimpliCD certs only, but it’s an excellent alternative,” said Lewis. Not only that it’s bringing the corporate co-agent new business and showing CUs they can go through their corporate for attractive investments. Lewis believes SimpliCD is really going to take off because the political waters have calmed a bit. “We don’t have as much pressure as we had before. Previously with one corporate owning the program, there were a few corporates out there that maybe viewed that a little negatively. Now each one owns a piece and we don’t have the politics,” said Lewis. There may be some misconception that SimpliCD was home grown by Corporate One – not so. While the corporate made SimpliCD into the success it is with more resources and the decision to partner with other corporates, SimpliCD’s roots are with Irwin Union Bank. Corporate One purchased the product from the Columbus, Indiana bank in 1996. Primary Financial has 10 employees, and uses some HR and accounting services from some of its corporate owners. The operations offices are in Columbus, Ohio in Corporate One’s headquarters, however its trading staff is in Columbus, Indiana due to the Irwin connection. [email protected]

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