FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (8/5/11)--Four leagues have joined together to form CU Partner Link, a new company focused on boosting business for credit unions, and announced its board of directors. CU Partner Link is a collaboration among the California Credit Union League, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA), Ohio Credit Union League and Texas Credit Union League. It will identify and deliver innovative financial products focused on growing revenue and enhancing business-development efforts to credit unions across the U.S. "Credit unions have rarely faced a more challenging operating environment than they do today … a multi-year economic downturn, stagnant loan demand and an ever-increasing regulatory burden are just a few of the headwinds the industry faces" said Dick Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas league and chairman of the board of CU Partner Link. "But despite these challenges, there are significant prospects for new growth. And, one of our best avenues for identifying these opportunities is through collaboration." Most credit unions have spent significant energy the past few years finding ways to reduce operating expenses. The leagues believe that state-support organizations should collaborate in deeper, more meaningful ways to ensure that maximum value is returned to the credit unions they serve, said a press release. CU Partner Link believes the best prospects to improve financial performance will be realized from helping credit unions focus on growing top-line revenue. "Consolidation in the industry is changing the way credit union leaders view their opportunities for growth," said Mike Mercer, CEO of GCUA and secretary of CU Partner Link's board. "At the same time, it is causing state-support organizations to transform the ways they operate," he added. In addition to Ensweiler and Mercer, serving on the board of directors for CU Partner Link are:
* Vice chairman, Diana Dystra, CEO of the California league; * Treasurer, Paul Mercer, CEO of the Ohio league; * Darren Herrmann, CEO, San Francisco Fire CU, San Francisco, Calif.; and * Paul Trylko, CEO, Amplify FCU, Austin Texas
Leagues participating in the venture represent 1,615 credit unions or 21% of the nation's credit unions with more than $235 billion in assets or 25% of total credit union assets in the U.S.