The Network’s Virtual Annual Conference is happening right now! Almost 440 credit union professionals, volunteers and partners are registered for the conference and will participate in some fantastic sessions, a virtual exhibit hall, breakout sessions, and even Virtual Trivia!
In our first General Session “What's Next Following an Unprecedented Year for Minnesota Credit Unions,” we were pleased to welcome the Honorable Rodney Hood, Chair of the National Credit Union Administration, who provided an update from our federal regulator. We also heard greetings from Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan; and our Minnesota US Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar.
Make sure to follow #MnCUN2020 on social media for updates and insights throughout the two-day the event. We’ll provide a full re-cap of the conference in next week’s Pulse.
Minnesota Credit Unions are encouraged to continue financial support the Minnesota Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® Awareness Initiative for 2021. The ongoing investment to boost consumer awareness is paying benefits in growth and knowledge of credit unions across the state.
Our recent, state-specific consumer research indicates that fifty-two percent of non-credit union members age 18-34-years-old are likely to consider joining a credit union. This percentage has increased significantly since 2017, when Minnesota Credit Unions initiated a statewide Consumer Awareness campaign targeting this age group. And familiarity of credit unions among all ages increased 10 points in the past 18 months alone. We are extremely pleased to see these results in a year with so many challenges. The 2020 Awareness Initiative has garnered over 42 million impressions as of the end of October.
As we enter 2021, we will continue to focus on reaching Minnesota young adults. The tactics include digital display ads and pre-roll video with audience targeting; social media ads on Facebook and Instagram targeting Minnesota consumers with financial interests; and Over-the-Top steaming video commercials (such as Netflix, Hulu, etc.).
Contributors to the campaign will have access to new branded marketing materials; plus preferred placement on YourMoneyFurther.com. We are excited to introduce a number of enhancements and new features coming next year for contributors, like "audience sharing”, "join now” buttons, a credit union matcher, and more.
The recommended contributions are noted on the 2021 pledge form. Please send your credit union’s pledge to Andrea Molnau, VP Communications & Engagement at email@example.com, by November 30, 2020.
The Network hosted an in-depth recap and analysis of the November 3rd elections last week. The recording can be viewed on mncun.org.
In the recording, Network staff talked about a variety of state and federal election results that could have an impact on Minnesota credit unions, including:
“Because of the bipartisan nature of our issues and our support of legislators on both sides of the aisle, Minnesota’s credit unions are well positioned going into a new Congress and a new state legislative session to enact our legislative agenda and protect the interests of our members,” MnCUN Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Mara Humphrey said. “We look forward to carrying on the work of ensuring the vitality of credit unions in the halls of government at both the state and federal levels in January.”
Registration is now open for December and January Women’s Leadership Network events. Join Lisa Hayes, Executive Coach and Facilitator for the following professional development sessions:
December 3, 2020 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Simple Strategies for Powerful Communication
2020 has taught us many things, including how powerful communication is when working in a variety of ways. Whether you’re looking to improve relationships across a screen, navigate difficult conversations at work, or show empathy while driving results, one thing is certain- communication will be at the center.
Continuing our discussion this year on leveraging your leadership coordinates, we will talk through:
January 14, 2021 10:00-11:30 a.m.
What’s Your Plan?
Start 2021 off on the right foot dedicating time to incorporating your development into a plan.
Our focus for this discussion includes:
The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Scholarship Council (FSC) is requesting your support for our annual scholarship program. Our annual goal is to raise $10,000!
We are disappointed to share that our signature Silent Auction event, which is usually held during the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s Annual Meeting & Convention, was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.
We hope you will consider a monetary/cash donation to help make our goal a reality so we can continue the scholarship program in its full capacity into 2021 and beyond! All money generated goes directly to students through scholarships.
Your support is greatly appreciated, and any donation you make is an investment in the youth of Minnesota as they pursue their education!
Cash donations: Checks should be made payable to: Minnesota Credit Union Foundation; with “FSC” in the memo line. OR donate online at www.mnfsc.org
Scholarship Deadline Approaching
In 2021, the Foundation Scholarship Committee will award $16,000 in scholarships to help credit union members continue their education.
Any member of a Minnesota Credit Union Network affiliated credit union pursuing post-secondary education in the fall 2021/spring 2022 OR is a high school senior graduating in 2021 is eligible to apply.
Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time November 30, 2020. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered
The FSC has various materials available to help you promote the 2020-21 scholarship program to your members. Visit the Scholarship Council webpage for resources such as the FSC logo, postcard, lobby flyer and an insert. The application is available online.
The Minnesota Credit Union Network is gearing up for this year’s Virtual Annual Conference starting next Wednesday, November 18. Although we won’t get to see our attendees in person, we’re excited to share how we will continue to provide impactful content, foster connections and inspire engagement through our virtual event platform.
Attendees of the Virtual Annual Conference will receive access to the event platform this Thursday, November 12, to begin the event experience and start interacting with colleagues, speakers and supporting partners. Once in the site, attendees will be able to:
Attendees will also begin playing the built-in event game, simply by utilizing the various platform functions and interacting with others. Points can be accrued by an array of different actions, including seeking information from our exhibitor partners, uploading a profile picture, starting or joining a conversation, and setting up your agenda. Leading point recipients will have the opportunity to win prizes, including an Apple Watch and gift cards!
We can’t wait to see you at the Annual Conference next week! With questions, please contact Director of Engagement Ben Hering via email or through the event site.
The Minnesota Credit Union Network Marketing Awards acknowledges the outstanding programs credit unions have created to grow brand awareness and market to members and nonmembers alike.
There is no cost to submit entries for Minnesota Credit Union Network-affiliated credit unions and applications are open through 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, December 18.
Winners will be notified in January 2021 and invited to share their work during an interactive discussion during a virtual ceremony.
Visit the MnCUN website for information on categories and judging criteria and to apply online. With questions, contact MnCUN Director of Communications, Julia Miller by email.
The Minnesota Secretary of State posted final election results yesterday and there are some interesting things for credit unions to take note going into the 2021 federal and state legislative sessions that will start in January.
Minnesota U.S. Senate Race
The U.S. Senate race in Minnesota saw incumbent Tina Smith (DFL) pull out a five-point win over former U.S. Representative Jason Lewis (R), 48% to 43%. Having been appointed to the seat and winning the 2018 special election to finish out the remainder of the previous term from the early resignation of Al Franken, Senator Smith now will serve a full 6-year term. CUNA and MnCUN partnered with two credit unions on a partisan communication in support of Senator Smith’s reelection, spending about $250,000.
Nationally, the Senate is currently still held by Republicans by a slim margin but there are two runoff elections in Georgia on December 5 that will decide final control of the Chamber.
Minnesota Congressional Races
In the Minnesota Congressional races, longtime DFL incumbent Colin Peterson lost his bid for a 16th term, losing to former state Senator and Lt. Governor Michelle Fischbach 53% to 40%. All other incumbents won their respective races, meaning the partisan split of the Congressional contingent will now be 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans.
Overall, CUNA’s federal PAC, CULAC, spent over $7 million supporting credit union champions in Congress.
In the state Senate, the GOP, holding a 35-32 majority, were able to hold off the DFL and will head into January with a razor thin 34-33 majority. Three GOP seats and two DFL seats flipped party control to account for the current makeup. In the state House, the Democratic majority was whittled down from a 75-59 majority to a 70-64 edge. Republicans were able to build on their more recent successes in exurban and rural areas, flipping five seats to their control.
In the state House and Senate elections, MnCUN’s political action committee, CUPAC, supported a total of 70 candidates for office, with 66 of them winning election.
The partisan breakdown of the federal elections will likely have some impacts for credit unions, specifically:
At the state level, MnCUN’s analysis of the results will potentially lead to:
The Network will be hosting a more in-depth recap and analysis on a webinar at 9 AM on Thursday 11/12.
Through our partnership with the Credit Union Webinar Network, we are pleased to announce the 2021 webinar schedule.
The carefully selected topics will be presented by well-respected, knowledgeable, industry experts. These convenient webinars provide must-know information about today's dynamic financial services environment. Hot topics as late-breaking issues/regulations warrant will be added as well.
Visit the Webinars Page for a complete list.
We’ve known for some time that credit union members would prefer accessing financial services at a credit union. While more than half of members report that, only 3% of members utilize their credit unions for investment services. That’s according to research from Kehrer Bielan, sponsored by CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI).
Now, during a time of global pandemic and economic uncertainty, it may seem counterintuitive to focus on investments. Members are struggling economically and face nerve-wracking uncertainty. But this is exactly when these services and strong financial planning need to be present and proactive within credit unions.
The same research found that 33% of households with at least one credit union member say providing for retirement is their most important financial goal. At a time when many people’s financial planning and retirement goals might be put off, credit unions should be the go-to source to help members through this crisis.
There is enormous opportunity for credit unions to do more to empower their members and help them through the uncertainty they face, as well as to grow their business by making investment services equally important as their savings, loans and insurance products.
But making investment services core requires more than just vision—it involves deep thought, a data-driven strategy and four core best practices:
Increase Advisor Headcount. Start by focusing on advisor recruiting. Use a junior/associate advisor model where senior advisors mentor those with less experience. This can fill your pipeline with promising, skilled professionals who can grow your advisory business. Nurturing the next generation of advisors is critical. Today, only 11% of advisors are under age 35.  However, as baby boomers are expected to pass down up to $68 trillion of wealth to their Generation X and millennial family members, your credit union needs advisors on tap to build and nurture long-term relationships with these legacies.  Work with an external partner or broker/dealer (BD) with deep credit union expertise to employ this model and drive headcount.
Best Practice 1: BENCHMARK To enhance your wealth management program, set a benchmark to deploy at least one advisor for every $150 million in share deposits
Drive Growth of Your Advisory Business. Working with a credit-union-focused BD also can propel your overall investment services strategy. A qualified BD can help your credit union develop a strategic plan, set company-wide goals that increase the number of members helped with wealth management services, and give you tools and technology to accomplish these goals.
Look for a BD that offers robust advisor recruitment and onboarding services and marketing resources; has deep compliance and industry knowledge; and can provide ongoing training, education and back-office operations support for financial advisors. Once you have all these resources in place, you then can focus on advisor retention to maintain top performers and their clients.
Best Practice 2: BENCHMARK Ensure at least 50% of new investment assets go into advisory accounts.
Deliver Financial Planning. Provide centralized financial planning support for advisors, so they can focus less on administrative tasks and more on client acquisition that will generate long-term value.
Also invest in data, analytics and product enhancements to drive program growth. Look at your initial benchmarks and success metrics to assess performance and opportunities for improvement.
Best Practice 3: BENCHMARK Generate half of your investment services revenue from fees on advisory accounts.
Increase Member Awareness and Drive Referrals. Driving member awareness and referrals is a crucial part of growing your advisory business. Streamline marketing activities across advisors and your credit union’s in-branch and digital marketing activities by working with a strategic partner who can help you:
Best Practice 4: BENCHMARK Set a goal to refer at least 1.5% of members to your credit union’s financial advisors every year.
Invest in Your Credit Union’s Future
Establishing an investment services relationship for members will deepen their connection to your brand— and their trust in it. As research shows, members who enter into this engagement with their credit union do more business with you in the long term. Making investment services core also requires a well-thought-out and integrated strategy where every part of your organization—including advisors—is laser-focused on the benchmarks and goals that will make this new vision a reality.
Are you ready to make investment services core to your credit union? Discover more resources and best practices.
By Frank Smith, Director, CUNA Mutual Group, Investment Solutions
 Retirement Income Journal, “Babybust? Only 11.7% of financial advisors are under 35: Cerulli”, March 8, 2018.
 CNBC, “$68 trillion is about to exchange hands in the US,” November 20, 2018. All other data from “Making Wealth Management Core in Credit Unions” by Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting, sponsored by CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), February 2019.
Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/ NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CBSI is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty states of the United States of America. The representative may also be financial institution employee that accepts deposits on behalf of the financial institution.
The Pulse is MnCUN's newsletter that keeps credit union professionals and board members updated on current news and information.