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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The credit union movement’s first and only nationally chartered trust company emphasized investments, regulatory and operational, issues and sharing best practices at its first user’s meeting of credit union trust officers. More than 30 representatives of credit unions nationwide participated in the meeting, organized by MEMBERS Trust Co. Titled “Plan, Process, Partner,” the meeting’s topics of discussion also included offering trusts to members with special needs, complying with the USA Patriot Act and Bank Secrecy Act and process and procedures for opening new trusts. Denise Giansante, MEMBERS Trust chief fiduciary officer, who organized the meeting, said the two-day conference provided trust officers a forum to discuss issues (The Plan), participate in regulatory training (The Process) and to share ideas and strategies with the MEMBERS Trust (Partner). Among those attending the inaugural user’s meeting were trust officers from $13 billion State Employees Credit Union, and Jim Blaine, its president/CEO. “SECU staff found the user’s meeting to be beneficial on several levels,” said Blaine. “The regulatory and investment sessions were valuable and will help SECU more effectively deliver trust services to members. But equally important to the trust officers attending was the sharing of ideas and experiences that a gathering like this provides.” MEMBERS Trust’s reach has extended to 34 credit unions, including 23 representative offices and 11 agency offices. With 26 credit union owners, the trust company has more than $85 million in assets under management. In 2003, the company converted to a federal thrift, chartered by the Office of Thrift Supervision, enabling it to offer trust services to credit union members across the United States. CUNA Mutual along with Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla., formed the company and are founding shareholders. On the meeting’s outcome, Tom Walker, president/CEO of MEMBERS Trust, said, “Trust officers embraced the vision of (the company) to build a special trust company that will meet the trust and investment needs of all members, regardless of income and household assets. Having nearly 35 participants at our first user’s meeting personalized the reality that credit unions are now in the trust business.” MEMBERS Trust offers credit unions two operational alternatives: an Agency Office, which establishes a trust presence in a particular state and requires a trust officer to be physically located in a credit union; and a Representative Office, which is an extension of the credit union’s financial services program. This option does not require hiring a trust officer, but instead utilizes the services of specially trained representatives to consult and make recommendations for trust services. The company’s services investment management, trust administration, estate planning, estate settlement, custody, retirement plans and reverse mortgages. -

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