The King Is Dead. Long Live The Queen.

There's a lot of uncertainty in the financial markets, but in credit union land, members are learning cooperative roots run deep.

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I’m a sucker for a great portmanteau. The cheekier the better. Until this spring, my all-time favorite linguistic blending belonged to Burger King’s low-calorie satisfry. 30% fewer calories, 100% more fun.

But then along came 2016, and talk of the Brexit filled my news feeds. By the time the first quarter issue of Credit Union Strategy Performance hits desks, the vote will have been long decided. At the time of press, however, speculation over will they or won’t they? swings daily, contributing to an exciting ride for those watching global stock and bond markets.

In the United States, volatility returned to our markets, yet credit unions kicked off the year with a wave of momentum, says Callahan partner Jay Johnson. In his introduction to this quarter’s Industry Performance, Johnson explains why the cooperative financial industry is solidly improving quarter-to-quarter while markets whipsaw in the face of uncertainties. Click here to read his commentary, then see how your credit union compares to industry trends by browsing the 30-plus graphs, tables, and maps that comprise this quarter’s Industry Performance breakdown.

In our Anatomy Of A Credit Union profile, senior writer Marc Rapport takes an in-depth look at Kane County Teacher’s Credit Union. The credit union faced a hard truth when Mike Lee joined as CEO in August 2013: KCT was losing money, and it would take the efforts of every employee across the organization to save it from a merger.

Now, nearly three years later, spring has finally sprung for the Chicago-area credit union. Branch traffic, lending, member growth, and ROA are all on the rise. And for this issue of Credit Union Strategy Performance, Lee and his team talk about how they turned around their $200 million institution. Click here to learn about KCT’s new core strategy that focuses on face-to-face interactions, lending driven by member needs, and debt checkups it’s financial wellness in action. (Click here to download the PDF.)

It’s no secret the compliance burden on credit unions has increased in recent years. But exactly how much regulation has there been? And what are institutions doing to ease the burden?

In this quarter’s Ideas In Action, we surf the regulatory tsunami and look at what compliance means for departmental design, CUSOs, and enterprise risk management. Click here to visit Strategy Performance’s online table of contents. And for anyone curious about what’s been passed and when, Callahan analyst Stephanie Clark offers A Year In Credit Union Regulations, an infographic dedicated to 2015’s final rulings.

Definition Of PORTMANTEAU: A word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms.

In Technology@CU, we spotlight industry efforts to support innovation in the form of incubators, startups, CUSOs, and more. Shreveport-based ANECA can put a dollar amount on the price of innovation in Louisiana, and it’s having a great time billing the Pelican State city as an up-and-coming community for entrepreneurs. Click here to read The Price Of Innovation In Louisiana, and click here to visit Strategy Performance’s online table of contents for more inspiration for your next big idea.

Since first quarter 2010, credit unions have added nearly 50,000 full- and part-time employees. As the industry continues its unprecedented growth, it’s important for credit unions to consider how to promote themselves to not only potential members but also potential employees. That’s where a strong, favorable employer brand comes in handy. And that’s why associate editor Erik Payne studied the best practices of retail royalty to offer lessons to build an employer brand. Check out his suggestions in this quarter’s Diversions, 3 Lessons To Build An Employer Brand. Then, take a breather from your summer reading list and try to find a selection of entertaining credit unions in this quarter’s The Last Word word search.

And remember, you don’t have to wait for each quarterly issue of Credit Union Strategy Performance to learn from the experiences and insights of your fellow credit unions. You can always check out great content just like this on

Happy Reading!

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July 4, 2016

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