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MADISON, Wis. – It’s certainly not an ideal situation to step into the CEO position at a company in the midst of a labor dispute. That’s exactly where new CUNA Mutual CEO Jeff Post finds himself. Post, although on the job only a month, said he’s working to find a solution. “I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on that. I’m formulating a strategy. It’s something we would all like to see resolved,” said Post. He doesn’t want a solution at all costs however, he wants to ensure CUNA Mutual isn’t over spending and hurting its competitiveness. “I think people understand you owe employees a fair contract, but you don’t owe them more than a fair contract. At the end of the day CUNA Mutual is a very honorable company. The turnover rate is 4%; we’re hardly underpaying people. Where I came from if we had a 12% turnover rate it was a very good year,” he said. Post is the former CEO of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. Though CUNA Mutual is dominant in the bond market, he says if pricing slips, clients will be lost. Post has already contacted credit union CEOs whose credit unions have left CUNA Mutual’s bond program, and the primary reason they cite is pricing. CUNA Mutual for years has had to face down competitors coming into the bond market trying to lure away clients on price. Competitors have had little success, though there have been some large CUs lost, such as U.S. Central which last year moved to Chubb Insurance. U.S. Central cited a $155,000 annual savings as one reason for the move. One lingering disagreement between the union and the company is outsourcing. CUNA Mutual wants the opportunity to outsource where it makes financial sense. “This outsourcing of America is not a CUNA Mutual issue, it’s a United States population issue. My goal here is to keep jobs in Madison, I just need them to be competitive,” said Post. He said it’s irresponsible for a CEO to make business decisions that will cost the company more money than other known options. Post would not go into details about his solution strategy for the labor situation at this point. So what kind of changes does the new CEO have in store for the company? Expect some shakeup in the management structure. “Today once you get beyond senior vice president, there’s only one job in this company. I don’t think you’re going to find that in any best practices handbook. This kind of structure is unwieldy for people to work in, not only me working into the organization, but the organization working up to me,” said Post. He said the way CUNA Mutual is structured, there’s not enough cross-functional responsibility in management. The company has 14 SVPs. “In any large corporation there will be an organizational structure in place that has a CEO, generally some EVPs that have multi-function responsibility and then SVPs. It’s the right way to get decisions made. It’s the right thing to do to have opportunities for people to grow and to have a reasonable succession plan,” said Post. He said too many decisions have to be made at the very top at CUNA Mutual which could affect the company’s nimbleness. Post said he expects a change in the management ranks, though he doesn’t know how extensive. He cited CEO changes at most companies result in about a 50% change in leadership. He said often management members will “self-select” themselves out of the organization because they don’t want to play into the new vision the CEO is setting. Others can’t work up to the new bar the CEO has set. Post has also spent his first month learning all the various credit union acronyms and meeting with credit union leaders. “I think people in general view CUNA Mutual in a favorable light, a key partner in the movement, however I think they would like to see us listen a little bit more than we do today.” [email protected]

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