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Catalyst Corporate Turns Three
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:55 AM

This week marks the third anniversary of Catalyst Corporate FCU’s inception in September 2011. In three years, Catalyst Corporate has seen its membership grow to more than 1,200 capitalizing credit unions and has added new services, such as loan participations, cloud computing, and derivative hedging.

“Since its last anniversary, Catalyst Corporate has placed a priority on enhancing its existing services, while developing a culture of innovation to assure development of services that will continue to meet credit union needs and sustain their growth well into the future,” said Kathy Garner, President/CEO of Catalyst Corporate.

Catalyst Corporate’s loan participation program, launched a few months ago, has already helped nearly two dozen credit unions sell and buy more than $75 million in loans, with millions more in the growing pipeline. “Loan participations are an effective tool to help credit unions manage their business and their balance sheets,” said Garner. 

Catalyst Corporate’s loan participation service is a one-stop shop, where the corporate serves  as facilitator by bringing the “buyers and sellers” together in the loan participation process, making it convenient for all parties involved. Loan participations can help offset liquidity challenges and concentration issues and enable credit unions to meet their members’ loan needs without exceeding policy limits or pressuring capital ratios.

Also during the past year, Catalyst Corporate introduced Catalyst Cloud Computing (C3) to address information technology challenges faced by credit unions. As the expense for technology infrastructure continues to climb, more credit unions are “outsourcing” their IT needs. Catalyst Corporate’s C3 provides credit unions with a safe and secure way to outsource information technology systems and processes.

Built from the ground up specifically for financial institutions, Catalyst Corporate’s C3 offerings include fully-compliant, industry-best, integrated security that allows credit unions flexible access to all applications on any device, anytime, from anywhere. Available as a comprehensive suite, or available selectively, Catalyst Corporate C3   services include: a hosted exchange solution with built-in redundancy, security and 24/7 support; an automated back-up of critical digital assets in a secure, off-site location; managed network security; data encryption; risk director and more.

Meanwhile, Catalyst Strategic Solutions, the wholly-owned CUSO of Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, launched a comprehensive derivative hedging service during the past year to help credit unions mitigate interest-rate risk.

Approved credit unions will be permitted to invest in interest rate swaps, caps and floors; basis swaps; and Treasury futures. Through the program, credit unions will have the ability to hold a greater concentration of longer-term, higher-yielding assets, without the associated interest rate risk; to stabilize their cost of funds’ as a viable alternative to either selling an asset or borrowing, with minimal balance sheet impact; and to hedge their mortgage pipeline.

“Catalyst Corporate has achieved many successes in its first three years,” Garner said, Not only were the broad objectives of the original business plan achieved during its first three years, Catalyst actually outperformed most budget projections.  And a recent survey of members gave Catalyst Corporate a Net Promoter Score of 70 percent, far exceeding 50 percent, the benchmark score for excellence.

One of the keys to Catalyst Corporate’s success has been the close interaction between the corporate and its members. The upcoming Economic Forum provides such an opportunity.

The annual Economic Forum, scheduled for Oct.7-8 at the Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, has well over 200 credit union representatives from nearly 100 credit unions already registered. In addition to the lively interaction between Catalyst Corporate and credit unions, the Economic Forum features a full line-up of economists and financial industry experts prepared to provide timely information and strategies to help credit unions position for the future. 

“Catalyst Corporate is working to be responsive to our members’ needs, and we are especially pleased that our members are responding favorably,” said Garner.  “We look forward to continued success in the coming year.”

For information about Catalyst Corporate, a business partner of Credit Union Resources, please visit www.catalystcorp.org.