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Catalyst CEO Reports On Year One At Helm
PLANO, Texas (3/13/13)--It's been about 18 months since Catalyst Corporate FCU came into being through the merger of Georgia Corporate and Southwest Bridge Corporate and about a year since Kathy Garner took the reins as president and CEO. She used the occasion of that anniversary to send out a scorecard of commitments made to member credit unions and commitments that have been kept.

"Looking back, Catalyst Corporate had a lot to prove a year ago. When we asked credit unions to trust us with their capital, we made a lot of commitments. We have kept each of those commitments," Garner said in a release.

"When I came on board a year ago, my first responsibility was to ensure that Catalyst Corporate was operating safely and soundly by executing the business plan that was presented to capitalizing credit unions," Garner said. "The Catalyst Corporate team has done that, meeting or exceeding all regulatory capital requirements, including retained earnings, prior to (the National Credit Union Administration's) deadlines."

Garner said Catalyst Corporate's retained earnings ratio at Dec. 31, 2012, was 0.84%, compared to the 0.45% that corporate credit unions are required by NCUA to meet by October of this year.

Another metric that Catalyst Corporate tracks is a "coverage" ratio that measures the percentage of the corporate's expenses covered by fee income. While there is no regulatory requirement regarding such a ratio, Garner said it is "an important measure of internal efficiency." An ability to cover expenses through fee income means less reliance on balance sheet activity for income and it means reduced exposure to risk, Garner says. At Catalyst, the ratio generally ranges between 75% and 85%, she reports.

Garner stakes claim to financial transparency as a hallmark of her first year as chief executive. She said it has been achieved through frequent and varied communications with members. They have ranged from the traditional member communications, to such things as a new "regular member update from the CEO," a boost in senior management's in-person contact with credit unions, and installation of new processes for obtaining member feedback, such as its Catalyst Councils and member surveys.

The increased communications has had positive results, Garner says, citing an example of a service that resulted from a member recommendation--Catalyst Corporate's quarterly Due Diligence Report, which pulls together all of Catalyst Corporate's financial statements and supporting documentation in one location.

"Whether you're a member credit union looking to compile a board report or a non-member credit union evaluating Catalyst Corporate's performance, you can find all the information you need on our due diligence web page," she said.

Garner says if anyone is looking for label to affix to her first year as CEO, it could be called a year of integration. Following on the heels of the merger between its own legacy corporates, Catalyst Corporate completed consolidations with both Western Bridge Corporate FCU and First Corporate CU. Garner said tight timeframes made for an intense year, but the broader membership base will benefit all.


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