MADISON, Wis. — CUNA Mutual Group said it has some aggressiveplans in the works to acquire businesses in the 401(k) providerspace.

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The company said it currently offers 4,500 plans to 105,000participants and is the largest 401(k) provider in the credit unionindustry with a 60% market share. According to Kevin Thompson, vicepresident, asset accumulation products at CUNA Mutual, a threeprong strategy has been presented to the company's board thatincludes maintaining and growing its credit union business,increasing distribution and buying 401(k) providers.

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“We're pretty aggressively looking to acquire businesses in the401(k) space,” Thompson said. “It is a demonstration to thecommitment of [CUNA Mutual's] product.”

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Thompson could not disclose potential acquires at this time butdid say CUNA Mutual has hired an investment banker to seek outdeals.

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Last summer, CUNA Mutual conducted a pilot with five creditunions to test out offering the company's 401(k) plans to employeesat member-owned small businesses. Thompson said the pilot has sinceadvanced to full production and now has 63 credit unions involvedrepresented by 89 financial advisors.

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