Harmon Takes Over At Corporate Trade Group

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WASHINGTON — The Association of Corporate Credit Unions had been without a leader for several months following Brad Miller's move earlier this year to head up Southeast Corporate FCU. But that's changed with the hiring of Larry Harmon, president of Qversal Financial Solutions, to take over as Interim Executive Director. Credit Union Journal spoke with the industry veteran about leading the trade group for corporate CUs during what will certainly be one of the greatest periods of re-structuring and change.

Credit Union Journal: What is Qversal Financial Solutions all about and are you remaining its president as you take over as head of ACCU?
Harmon: Qversal Financial Solutions, LLC provides contract employment and consulting services to clients, including credit unions, corporates, broker-dealers and investment advisors. Our primary focus is to assist clients with financial, operational and risk-management project initiatives, as well as regulatory compliance issues.

The ACCU and Qversal have entered into an opened-ended agreement. While working with the ACCU, I will continue to manage the operations of Qversal, as well as other client initiatives.

CUJ: What is your background and do you think will make you a strong leader of ACCU?
Harmon: Since 1991, I have worked extensively within the credit union system, which includes various management positions with U.S. Central FCU and Members United Corporate FCU. Also during this period I have worked with clients holding positions ranging from Interim president/chief executive officer, responsible for implementing corrective action plans to deal with significant infrastructure and corporate governance issues, to serving as interim chief risk officer. Additionally, I have worked with numerous corporates and credit unions on strategic planning and business plan development, mergers, and building out infrastructure to support new lines of business.

During my tenure within the credit union system, I have also had the great pleasure of working with many of the leaders and volunteers associated with corporate credit unions, as well as numerous credit union leaders. This has given me the opportunity to work with numerous regulatory representatives from the NCUA, FINRA and SEC. With my extensive compliance background and understanding of the rules and regulations governing corporates and CUs, I have an opportunity to be a strong voice for the ACCU and its members.

CUJ: Why only "interim director" at ACCU? Are there plans in motion to find a different permanent director and did anyone discuss why there was such a long gap between Brad Miller's departure and you coming on board?
Harmon: Brad Miller has remained active with the ACCU following his announcement to accept the position at Southeast Corporate. Through his commitment and dedication, corporates have continued to have a seasoned spokesperson with the regulators and other audiences. At a recent meeting, a group of corporate credit union executives discussed the future of the ACCU and agreed that having an organization comprised of representatives from corporates is vital at this time, given the significant issues that all corporates are managing.

As the financial markets become more stable and the regulatory and environmental issues become clearer, corporates will continue to assess the future direction of the ACCU.

CUJ: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the corporate system right now and how will you help tackle them as head of the trade group?
Harmon: As interim executive director, I will work directly with the ACCU's Executive Committee to prioritize issues that all corporates will be addressing over the next several months. Currently, there are several significant issues that will impact corporates and, ultimately, credit unions, including NCUA's communication about a legacy asset program to deal with certain investment securities held by some of the corporates. Additionally, the anticipated changes to NCUA's Rules and Regulations, Part 704, as proposed, will define new risk limitations that corporate credit unions must adhere to and establishes new acceptable forms of capital and capital adequacy levels.

Working together with corporate executives, I will seek to identify and understand the impact of issues such as these and their ultimate impact to the credit union system. Representing a group of financial cooperatives, the ACCU working together with corporate executives is committed to ensuring that credit unions have access to value-based payment system and liquidity solutions.

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