OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – This is the 10th anniversary for CNBS’ Institute Series and while it has expanded over the years, the format hasn’t changed much. CNBS President Brian Hague said the concept for the Institute, which provides investment and balance sheet education courses, started over 10 years ago when Hague was approached by an attendee after delivering a presentation on investments at a credit union conference. “He asked if there was some class, or book he could read to get everything he needed to know to manage their portfolio. At the time, there was nothing like it out there,” said Hague. Hague said back then there were conferences that touched on the hot investment topic of the day, but nothing more. “We intended the Institute to be something different, really designed to be a walk-through the portfolio management process from start to finish,” said Hague. The Institute sticks to the class-room format. It’s interactive and attendees follow along with a large binder course book that attendees keep. The Institute focuses on real life examples of what’s happening in the industry and how credit unions should analyze and investment problem. The Institute’s core goals are to help CUs establish investment objectives, set policies to achieve those objectives, and then help them evaluate the securities to carry out the investment objectives. Hague said the Institute’s primary focus is helping credit unions monitor and balancing the portfolio, which is much more advanced than it was when the Institute first launched. Todd Smith, Senior Vice President, Client Strategies for CNBS, said as credit unions face more competition, they’re looking to their investment portfolio for additional yield. And these days the investment products available can be quite complex. Credit unions now have mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations to consider that just weren’t common in CU portfolios a decade ago, said Smith. Hague didn’t expect the Institute to last this long. “When we first started this we thought it might have a two or three year lifespan,” said Hague, but with NCUA’s focus on investment risk management, especially the need for credit union directors to understand risk, the Institute took off. Over the 10 years approximately 1,250 people have attended the Institute. The following are some interesting stats on attendee history: * 72% of credit unions have sent more than one professional to the Institute, * 62% of credit unions have returned to the Institute, * 35% of credit union professionals have attended three, four or five times. The Institute has evolved from one track to four. The four are the following: the Advanced Financial Management Track, designed for executives and investment managers who want to learn more about complex mortgage securities and derivatives; the Investment Management track which tackles portfolio management as a five-step process; the Risk Management Track, which covers ALM, advanced investment and balance sheet risk management; and the Introduction to Financial Management Track, which is really aimed at directors who need to get an understanding of regulations covering investment and interest rate risk. The Risk Management and Investment Management Tracks are the best attended. Typically CNBS holds Institutes three or four times a year. It has upcoming Institutes in Las Vegas, Denver and Austin, Texas. Hague said he’s flattered that a number of corporate credit unions that are offering broker/dealer services have sent investment professionals to the Institute. The Institute was given a big boost a few years ago when it became a registered sponsor on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy National Registry of CPE Sponsors. Hague said the status affirms the Institute’s commitment to providing a high quality continuing professional education. The benefit for attendees is they are able to qualify for continuing education credits. [email protected]

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