Cheyenne, WY – (June 3, 2015) Wyoming credit unions WyHy and Western Vista have agreed to collaborate together as equal partners on a number of joint ventures. Most of these ventures will be organized as CUSOs, or Credit Union Service Organizations. Each CUSO as needed will be legally established as a Limited Liability Company (or LLC) within the state of Wyoming. The name of the managing CUSO which has already been filed and approved by the Wyoming Secretary of State is UProsper Services Group, LLC. The leadership team has also been established and includes the following: Tim Bolin (Western Vista’s Treasurer) is UProsper’s Chairman and Pam Fredrick (WyHy’s Vice Chairwoman) is Vice Chairwoman. Bill Willingham (WyHy’s President/CEO) and John Balser (Western Vista’s President/CEO) are UProsper’s Secretary and Treasurer respectively. While the various CUSO product and service focus names will vary somewhat based on the service provided, the UProsper brand is the common thread that will link all the products and services the CUSO will offer.
“There are a number of reasons credit unions form CUSOs together,” states Willingham, “and our reasons for partnering are to be able to offer additional service options that may have taken us much longer to offer on our own. Also, if each credit union were to attempt to create a standalone venture, the initial startup costs and ongoing operational expenses would be too many to absorb on our own. But through collaborative efforts, we can then split these initial and ongoing costs, as well as other resources, making the venture more cost efficient and effective.”
When asked why the specific collaboration between the two credit unions, Balser said, “Given Western Vista and WyHy’s similar Field of Membership, locations within Cheyenne and Casper, each credit unions’ shared focus of member/community advocacy, as well as years of respect between the two credit unions’ leadership, it became a reasonable fit to combine resources to better serve each credit unions’ existing, as well as future members. So by collaborating together we will have the ability to leverage the talent and capabilities of each credit union, helping both Western Vista and WyHy increase the value of our member/credit union relationships sooner rather than years down the line.”
The first joint venture that UProsper will engage in is the development of UProsper Wealth Management, with a focus on UProsper Investment Services. In the coming months, UProsper will continue to implement additional CUSO initiatives by making more formal announcements regarding the joint ventures that are intended to strengthen both credit unions’ member relationships and increase of their viability and success within the communities they serve.
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