ALM First Acquires WesCorp Inv. Svcs.

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WesCorp will sell its investment advisory book of business, known as WesCorp Investment Services, LLC, to Dallas-based ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC in an alliance that will make WesCorp a minority owner in ALM First.

The move allows ALM First to gain a massive footprint in the West while letting WesCorp get out of a service that's not a core competency and bring a deeper expertise in this area to its member credit unions, according to the company.

"We had to work at it very hard to make this a core competency, because it was such a small book of business," WesCorp CEO Bob Siravo told The Credit Union Journal. "ALM First has a much bigger book of business."

WesCorp's decision to shed its investment advisory service follows a similar decision by Southwest Corporate FCU to transfer its investment advisory service back-office operations to U.S. Central's CU Investment Solutions group.

WesCorp created its advisory services unit in 2000 and has 14 credit unions clients and $1.7 billion in assets under management. The acquisition will give ALM First 100 credit union clients and $8 billion in credit union assets under management.

"We have found that WesCorp has the same dedication and philosophy as ALM First," said Emily Hollis, president of ALM First. "We take a holistic approach to advising our clients, and trust is paramount, that's why our approach is fee based, not commission. We believe this alliance is putting together some of the finest minds in the industry."

Siravo said the new alliance trims the duplication of service to create a "one-stop shop with the best partner and premier provider we could find."

The two firms will work together to provide a smooth transition for WesCorp's current investment advisory service clientele. WesCorp Investment Services' personnel will be redeployed to other WesCorp initiatives, according to Todd Lane, EVP-CFO of Wescorp.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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