MADISON, Wis.- The CU Systems Fund is gaining ground nearly seven months after its debut. Launched in March, CU Systems Fund was created by CUNA Mutual Group to allow CUs to invest in shares of a series of funds holding a portfolio of CU-originated MBL participations and other permissible investments for liquidity purposes. Loans from a single CU originator can not exceed 10% if fund assets and will require sellers to retain at least that same percentage interest in the loan. Shares in the investment funds will then be offered to CUs and affiliated entities. When the fund reaches $25 million, sales of shares will begin. Twelve CUs and CUSOs have already gone through the certification process required to participate in the fund, said Jennifer Novinska, CU Systems Fund operation manager. CU BizSource, LLC is providing the certification process needed for CUs to participate in the fund. Another 12 have expressed interest in signing on, Novinska said. One of the goals for 2006 is to continue certifying CUs and provide support to those that are already certified. Novinska said other types of fund structures and asset classes will also be explored next year. "Credit unions are looking for more avenues (to achieve) liquidity," Novinska said.

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