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Millennials Ripe for Credit Union Investment Services

Fri, Jul 24, 2015

Denver, Colorado

Generation Y and millennials continue to be a driving force as to how companies market and attract these almost 80 million customers. Wealth management is the next industry to focus on attracting this new group of customers. At America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) and World Credit Union Conference (WCUC) Tuesday, CUNA Mutual Group’s Gary Weuve discussed the unique needs of this new generation of investors, who hold almost $30 trillion, the largest amount of wealth transfer since the baby boomers.1

 The challenge for financial advisors, especially in the credit union industry, said Weuve, vice president of The Center for Advisor Excellence™, CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., is there is a gap in investment education among this generation.

“Without a direct relationship with someone they know, like the family financial advisor, these younger customers are unlikely to appreciate what the financial advisor has done to build and retain the parents’ investments.

“There is educational work needed for these new investors to illustrate the value of a financial advisor given Gen Y’s first investment experience was marked by two significant market crashes and market volatility,” added Weuve.

In a recent study by the Credit Union National Association, 74 percent of non-members between 18-24 have some or no knowledge of credit unions.2 However, according to CUNA Mutual Group, those in Gen Y who are members do trust credit unions as a source of financial advice.

According to Weuve, approximately 30 percent of these younger members trust credit unions with their educational savings needs because it is a familiar relationship. But when it comes to financial investment advice, this same group significantly relies on friends and family for guidance, by almost 45 percent versus 16 percent with credit unions.3

“There is a great opportunity to provide a holistic financial service to this segment, more so than with Gen X and baby boomers, ranging from insurance, to savings, to investing,” said Weuve.

The good news is there is motivation to invest with this large emerging investor segment. According to CUNA Mutual Group’s “Be in the Moments” research, 60 percent plan to open a retirement savings account before age 26, 52 percent plan to open a college savings account for their children, and 41 percent plan to purchase a life insurance policy.3

In fact, investing in a retirement plan is a strong second in investment priorities superseding starting a family, buying a house, and purchasing a car, Weuve said.

Credit unions can start breaking through the awareness barrier to get more Gen Y into the credit unions through targeted marketing materials, social media, and educational sessions that relate to their world.

“Gen X and Y are more inclined to work with you if you connect with them on their terms and show them the long-term benefits and financial stability that you can provide. Transparency is huge for this group.”

Upon closing, Weuve suggested a few tips to engage this up-and-coming investor segment:

  • As a group, Gen Y has a herd mentality, yet values customization; evaluate your direct and social marketing campaigns to align accordingly.
  • Take advantage of their motivation to self-organize friends and colleagues for grassroots activism to align credit union products and services with those values.
  • Focus on the personal connection and meaningful benefits of the credit union as a banking alternative.

As the big wealth transfer starts to occur, credit unions can start engaging this segment now in the discussion. Weuve summarizes, “Prepare for the incoming inheritances; engage them now in the conversation. Meeting their insurance and investment needs today can have greater payoff in the future.”


1 Accenture. “The ‘Greater’ Wealth Transfer: Capitalizing on the Intergenerational Shift in Wealth,” 2012

2 CUNA National Member and Potential Member Survey, 2014-15

3 CUNA Mutual Group’s “Be in the Moments,” 2013

About CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc.:

CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) provides broker-dealer services to credit unions throughout the nation, offering a full range of investment and insurance products to help credit unions help their members reach a more secure financial position.

CBSI, an affiliate of CUNA Mutual Group, is the leading broker-dealer serving the credit union marketplace. CBSI has more than 250 credit union programs, 400 active advisors, with more than $3 billion in mutual fund, annuity and managed account sales, and more than $140 million in annual revenue. In 2014, CBSI paid credit unions more than $65 million in fee revenue.

About CUNA Mutual Group

CUNA Mutual Group was founded in 1935 by credit union pioneers, and our commitment to their vision continues today. The company offers insurance and protection for credit unions, employees and members; lending solutions and marketing programs; TruStageTM-branded consumer insurance products; and investment and retirement services to help credit unions and members achieve financial security and success. More information is available on the company’s website at

CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Life, accident, health and annuity insurance products are issued by CMFG Life Insurance Company. Property and casualty insurance products are issued by CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies and contracts it issues. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis.

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.

Photo Caption: CUNA Mutual Group’s Gary Weuve explains to an ACUC/WCUC audience the importance of engaging Gen Y and millennial investors now.