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MADISON, Wis. – A new program aimed at helping chief financial officers enhance credit union financial performance through effective investment management and strategy is on the way from CUNA Mutual Group. CUNA Mutual Group, in conjunction with its registered investment advisor affiliate, MEMBERS Capital Advisors, has launched Investment Advisory Services. The program combines investment analysis, advice and solutions with traditional asset-liability management (ALM) services and builds on an array of existing CUNA Mutual programs that help credit unions manage risk, maximize profitability and control costs. An integral part of the program is the assessment phase, which features a thorough review of the credit union’s ALM and investment policies and investment portfolio holdings, with the goal being to assure alignment with current balance sheet liquidity and cash flow needs, said Tom Merfeld, senior vice president of CUNA Mutual’s Credit Union Financial Solutions Group. The goal is to assure alignment with current balance sheet liquidity and cash flow needs, Merfeld said. From that assessment, “an objective investment strategy is developed and implemented, with a close eye on managing cash flow and liquidity needs.” Ongoing education, consultation and program management represent another key foundational element of Investment Advisory Services, according to Merfeld. Credit union staff will have access to comprehensive education and consulting on investing and asset-liability management, both online and in workshop settings. Program costs are based on fees, not commissions, which assures investment objectivity, said Merfeld. In creating Investment Advisory Services, CUNA Mutual responded to many of its 1,300 credit union ALM clients that desired additional tools to manage their balance sheet. Rapidly changing interest rates and financial markets are making it more difficult for credit unions to maintain consistent interest margins and earnings performance. Likewise, increased regulatory scrutiny has made the necessity for prudent risk management even more important, said Merfeld. “Corporate credit unions have also identified this as a need for their member credit unions. Credit unions have many options when considering investment advisory partners,” Merfeld pointed out. [email protected]

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