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August 2021

    A Note from Chris

    With only five months of 2021 remaining, now is the perfect time to reevaluate your goals to prepare for a strong rest of the year. In reflecting on the last six months, consider the successful practices you employed that you would like to continue to follow. Contemplate the challenges you faced that made you stronger and better equipped to run your business. As you look to the future and map out the next five months, know that we are here to support you. Corporate Central and our forward-thinking family of CUSOs offer customized solutions that can help your credit union thrive for years to come. We are committed to your success!

    Sincerely,

    Chris Felton's signature

    Chris Felton
    President/CEO

    What’s Trending?

    Five cybersecurity challenges for credit unions and tips to help mitigate them.

    As technology advances, so have the cybersecurity threats and challenges credit unions face along the way. These threats are further illuminated as the NCUA encourages credit unions to “strengthen their institution’s cyber vigilance and preparedness efforts” and continues to provide briefings on cybersecurity risks. Often IT leaders focus on the traditional security risks, from ransomware to breaches, without accounting for broader organizational components that introduce gaps. Here are five areas credit union leaders must keep on their radars.

    Technology Solutions

    Could your credit union benefit from Emergifi 360?

    Emergifi 360 is a fully managed IT solution that allows credit unions to focus on their core business objective of “people helping people.” Below are just a few benefits of our fully managed IT solution.

    • Scalability – as the credit union grows and adds employees, the cost of the managed IT services simply goes up a predetermined amount.
    • Budget friendly – move your IT from a capital expense to an operational expense with a fixed monthly cost.
    • Wealth of knowledge – instead of having one “IT Manager” who has limited experience and knowledge, you will have a team of highly trained IT professionals that work exclusively in the credit union industry unlike other MSP’s.
    • vCIO (virtual CIO) – Emergifi will work with your senior management to create a “technology roadmap” for the future of your credit union.

    Learn more at Emergifi.com or contact Emergifi at (844) 448-2876 to get started today.

    Employee Benefit Resources

    Strategies to enhance your employee benefits and lower your medical insurance costs.

    The InterLutions team has been busy writing white papers and hosting webinars that introduce our innovative and collaborative employee benefit solutions. If your credit union is looking to enhance your employee benefit offerings and save on medical insurance expenses, learn how our CUSO can help through our tested and proven models.

    Check out our Resources page for more information about:

    • Why Association Health Plans Work for Credit Unions
    • Why Telemedicine and Telehealth are Here to Stay
    • Employee Wellness: 10 Challenges to Engage Your Workforce

    Financial Services Consulting

    Use prudent allocation strategies to build a portfolio that enhances the performance of your credit union.

    July has proven to be yet another lesson in how to benefit from ignoring the market narrative. Looking back to the beginning of the month, we were anticipating a return to a normal Independence Day celebration with parades, picnics, and a few days away from work. In the market, yields on US Treasury securities were historically low as they have been for several years. What is new this time is the economy was seeing signs of recovery, even with a muffled growth in employment. Best guesses, and, based on the variance between actual and forecast job growth, calling them guesses is generous, were predicting large increases in the labor force.

    At the same time, prices for many goods were increasing nearly across the board. Certain goods experienced rapid increased costs due to any number of factors, each specific to a particular good. Some of this inflationary discussion was reviewed during Corporate Central’s Monthly Market Monitor. For those of you who listened in, think of core inflation and the history of the term core inflation. Typically, when inflation starts to heat up, we witness a corresponding increase in interest rates. Many credit union investment managers have been following the inflation story and responded by moving to a position to take advantage of increased rates and selling positions that would be hurt by rising rates.

    Next, a funny thing happened. With the backdrop of rising prices and more evidence of further price increases, with an ever-growing supply of money creation, and with talk of more government spending well into the future, interest rates went down. As an example, the 10-year Treasury began the month with a yield of 1.45%, down slightly from June posting. Yields continued their swoon to 1.30% before recovering to a July high of 1.42% before retreating to a 1.27% as of this writing. All this activity happened as the overwhelming narrative form market prognosticators remained negative on prices, concerned about inflation, and convinced rates were heading up. To be fair, this may still come true. However, in the interim, those who moved larger positions into the rates up trade have been experiencing some current financial stress.

    How can we avoid these large missed market calls you may ask? The answer is simpler than you might think. Don’t make these, or any market calls. Use prudent allocation strategies to build portfolios to enhance the performance of the entire credit union. QuantyPhi is here to serve our members with deposit and loan products they want and need. Your investment portfolio should be used to support that mission, not to anticipate any interest rate movement. If you want to learn more about how to build these portfolios, contact a Financial Strategist at QuantyPhi.

    Did You Know?

    Corporate Central’s LIBOR Investment Account is now known as the Flex Investment Account.

    LIBOR is a global benchmark used as an index for hundreds of trillions of dollars in financial products world-wide. It is designed to produce an average rate that is representative of the rates at which large, leading internationally active banks with access to the wholesale, unsecured funding market could fund themselves by borrowing from other representative banks for certain tenors. The most widely used tenors, such as 1-month and 3-month, were initially scheduled to cease being published at the end of 2021. This initial cessation date was then extended to June 30, 2023 to allow time for the replacement of LIBOR as a representative index. The concern with the cessation of LIBOR is in relation to financial products that are directly tied to LIBOR, or indexed, meaning that the product is required to move in tandem with LIBOR by agreement or structure. Additionally, beyond just being indexed to LIBOR, there is only a concern if a financial product indexed to LIBOR has a legal, structural, or contractual maturity that goes beyond the LIBOR cessation date. While 1-week and 2-month LIBOR are scheduled to end on December 31, 2021, all other tenors will continue to be published until at least June 30, 2023.

    It is important to note that Corporate Central’s LIBOR Investment Account is NOT indexed to LIBOR, and members can get out on any Tuesday; meaning there is also no structural or contractual maturity requiring members to keep funds in the account beyond the next Tuesday. Although the LIBOR Investment Account is not actually indexed to LIBOR, and therefore is not in any way impacted by the cessation of LIBOR, to clear up any confusion the name may cause, effective August 2021 we are renaming the LIBOR Investment Account as the “Flex Investment Account.” The Flex Investment Account recognizes the flexibility you have when placing funds in this investment account. Funds can be invested in, or withdrawn from, this account on any Tuesday. That means you have the flexibility to invest in the account for a week, a month, a year – your choice! It will be the same great account with a name that better represents the flexibility you have in using it. If you have any questions regarding this name change, please contact us.

    Credit Unions Connect

    Stories that exemplify the movement

    Honoring a legend and a legacy.

    Ascentra Credit Union Member Story

    Ascentra Credit Union hosted a celebration of life for their late President and CEO, Dale Owens. In dedication to Owens, the credit union named their home office after him. As part of the celebration, Ascentra also made donations, totaling $75,000, to Owen’s favorite charities. The credit union stated, “We couldn't honor Dale without doing something he felt so passionately about, giving back.”

    Helping the community recycle electronics.

    Aventa Credit Union Member Story

    Aventa Credit Union recently held their Second Electronic Waste Event. The credit union partnered with a nonprofit, Blue Star Recyclers, to make the event possible for members. Blue Star Recyclers’ mission is to create local jobs for adults with disabilities by recycling electronics. The credit union stated, “We enjoyed helping our members clear out electronic clutter in an environmentally and identity-safe way!”

    Read More Credit Union Stories

    What’s New and Who’s Who

    Corporate Central and InterLutions have welcomed Ken Meyer as an Employee Benefits Executive.

    We are very excited to welcome Ken Meyer to the Corporate Central and InterLutions team as an Employee Benefits Executive! Ken will proactively develop and solidify relationships with new and existing credit union clients to expand InterLutions’ revolutionary healthcare program, I-Care. Ken will also seek out collaborative opportunities with progressive credit unions and industry-leading partners to continue the growth of the exclusive insurance captive that InterLutions and its founding credit union members launched in 2015.

    Ken Meyer

    Ken graduated from Mundelein High School in Illinois before attending the University of South Florida where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. His post education career to present has always been in consulting and/or advisory roles starting in direct sales of life insurance and mutual funds where he excelled at a local level with Prudential. From there, Meyer entered the employee benefits space and never looked back. He was part owner in Paradigm MGU for several years and maintained strong growth and profits annually. He then began running his own employee benefits consulting company where he experienced significant growth for nine years. He is an avid sports and live music fan, and he attends numerous events each season. He enjoys time with his family, especially his wife and two sons. Rumor has it, he can hold a pretty good note while singing but proclaims to only be an empty car singer.

    Read the Press Release

    Learn More About Our Team

    Wild Adventures with Leo

    Leo emerges from lockdown.

    Leo, Mark, and Michael golfing

    After a long hiatus from his adventures, Leo was very excited and proud to represent Corporate Central and tag along with Mark Volz and Michael Baumann at the Christmas in July golf outing.

Upcoming Events

Data Driven Strategies to Retain and Grow Member Relationships

12/7/2021 2:00 PM - 12/7/2021 2:45 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join our partners at SRM for this 45-minute webinar where we will answer this question with tangible, actionable data.

Monthly Market Monitor

12/8/2021 3:30 PM - 12/8/2021 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Are you smarter than an economist?

12/15/2021 2:00 PM - 12/15/2021 2:30 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join QuantyPhi for this 30-minute webinar to see how well you can predict major market indicators. If you are the predicting champion, you will claim the title and a prize.

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