CARLSBAD, Calif.–Three former credit union retail brokerage executives and industry consultants have formed a new CUSO they say offers pure fee-based financial planning and investment advisory services to credit union members.
The new company, CuVantis Wealth Planning, LLC, was formed by former CUSO Financial Services Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weber and Chief Information Officer Bob Millington, along with Strategy Basecamp cofounder and compliance consultant Dodd McGough. Weber will serve as CEO, Millington will serve as COO, and McGough will serve as executive vice president of compliance.
‘Fully Aligned With CU Values’
As a California-based registered investment advisor, CuVantis said it will offer non-commission, fee-based financial planning and investment advisory services to credit union members.
“We’re excited to bring an investment services offering to credit unions that is fully aligned with credit union values,” said Weber in a statement. “Credit unions have a mission to always put the member first, and yet traditional programs with their commission-based compensation structures sometimes fail to do that. CuVantis eliminates those inherent conflicts and was built around providing the best member experience possible.”
According to Weber, CuVantis provides significant differentiators.
“Salary-based financial advisors mean credit unions and members will no longer have to worry about whether an advisor is recommending a product to receive a commission,” the company said. “CuVantis has also developed a tiered service model that allows advisors to serve all members, not just those with significant assets. This service offering includes both full-service planning and advisor-assisted digital advice (“robo-advice”).”
Also Being Offered
The company said it is also offering a set of defined, systematized processes that will lead to a more consistent member experience.
“Many CEO’s have told us they’re concerned that the experience or investment recommendations their members receive will be different depending on which advisor they meet,” said Weber. “We’ve solved that problem by developing systematized processes around every aspect of the member interaction.”
CuVantis said it is also introducing a new financial model that will potentially make the investment services program more profitable to credit unions. “The benefits of recurring revenue that are the mainstay of advisory relationships are pretty well-known and accepted,” said Millington. “But much of that topline revenue immediately goes out as compensation expense. Changing the compensation model create a better member experience and an improved long-term financial model for the credit union.”
While this model might be new to credit unions, it’s not new to the broader RIA industry. “Investment advisory firms have been using this model very successfully for more than two decades,” said Weber. “It’s time credit unions have an option that allows them to catch up with the experience their members can get elsewhere.”