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SANTA ANA, Calif. – Add Orange County’s Credit Union to the short list of those that have moved their investment operations in-house from their CUSO. The $755 million credit union launched a new Investment Services Division that will continue to offer members traditional services and products such as financial-planning services and products including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, fixed and variable annuities; long-term care insurance, term-life insurance, and universal life insurance. Investment services were previously offered through a third-party agreement through the CUNA Mutual Groups’ MEMBERS Financial Services program by representatives that were not employees at the credit union. There are currently 1,700 member investment accounts totaling $60 million under management. “The program itself had a lot to offer to our members, but it was not meeting the level of member service and member convenience that the credit union desired,” said Bill Partin, senior vice president of investment services, OCCU, and CEO, Orange County Group, Inc., its subsidiary. By the end of the year, the new division will add four licensed financial professionals to its current staff of three to serve members. Meanwhile, OCCU is running a financial fitness promotion this month to generate referrals, which will now be computer-based as opposed to paper-based, said Lynda Hill, OCCU senior vice president. “We can now offer a complete diversified portfolio to our members all under one roof – the whole network working as one team to meet and exceed members’ financial goals, ” explained Partin. “ Our financial professionals can now answer members’ questions better, and maximize return on investments while minimizing risk now that all the services are consolidated under one roof. It’s a much more efficient, convenient, and member-friendly process now.” OCCU joins $2.7 billion Wescom Credit Union in the investment program transition. That credit union’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Wescom Financial Services, officially converted to an independent broker/dealer last year. It said it will maintain its partnership with CUSO Financial Services, L.P. for back office and administrative services, and retain its ownership units in the limited partnership.

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