MADISON, Wis. (1/29/08)--CUNA Mutual Group (CMG), which provides financial services for credit unions nationwide, has seen its revenue go up for 2006. In 2006, CMG’s revenue was $2.85 billion, up from $2.42 billion in 2003, the year before new President/CEO Jeff Post arrived, according to figures provided by the company (The Wisconsin State Journal
Jan. 26). Financial results from 2007 are not yet available. Fitch Ratings, which rates the financial strength of insurance companies, gave CMG another AA- (very strong) rating for 2007. CMG has made several fundamental changes that will reap benefits in the long-term, Bruce Cox, a Fitch Ratings analyst who tracks the company, told the newspaper. Another ratings service--A.M. Best--described the company as “stable” and confirmed CMG’s A (excellent) rating, the newspaper said. CMG has become more competitive in the pricing of its insurance services, Paul Kundert, president//CEO of Madison, Wis.-based UW CU, said in the article. Post, who previously worked at Novato, Calif.-based Fireman’s Fund, told the newspaper he had two major goals when he became CEO: to improve financial performance, and to change the culture. Regarding the latter goal, he has removed barriers between company divisions and streamlined operations, although more work needs to be done, Post added. The streamlining has worked and results in a credit union dealing with just one CMG sales representative, instead of one for each product, Kim Sponem, Madison, Wis.-based Great Wisconsin CU CEO, told the newspaper. While the number of credit unions nationwide it serves has declined at a rate of about 500 per year, CMG has grown, Post told the newspaper. Citing company officials, the newspaper said that nationally CMG has a 95% share of the credit union bond market, an 88% share for casualty and property insurance coverage, 65% of the credit insurance market, and 55% of the retirement fund market. Post outlined several items on CMG’s 2008 to-do list:
* Continue to focus on a crop insurance program started last year, which generated $130 million in revenue in its first year; * Develop a program to initiate student loans and sell the first 20 years of payments to credit unions; * Offer CUNA Mutual’s 401(k) retirement plan this year to small businesses that aren’t credit unions; and * Consider a program that would provide auto loans to people who don’t qualify for conventional auto credit loans.