WesCorp Restarts With A New Board

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. — The rebuilding of the former Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) took another step last week with the election of a new board.

Several of those new board members told Credit Union Journal that while they expect to encounter skepticism among natural-person CUs, new rules for corporates should address many of those concerns.

One of those new board members at what is now Western Bridge Corporate FCU, Matthew Davidson, chief financial officer for $1.3-billion Kern Schools FCU, Bakersfield, Calif., said that "simple necessity means it is time to look forward."

"I think, and I think the rest of the board would agree, the credit union system needs a viable corporate system," said Davidson. "Western Bridge Corporate has people who are very good at back office functions such as settlements and transactions, and will be able to assist credit unions with their basic liquidity. From what I know of the plans that have been submitted to NCUA, I feel good about the aspects that are part of the yet-to-be-named corporate."

For those still skittish about recapitalizing the new WesCorp, Davidson noted NCUA's new rules governing corporates "restrict a lot of the things that went on in the past, so a lot of the bad stuff can't happen again."

"The plan is well thought out and what Western Bridge is doing and what the board is doing is to make real what credit unions in the Western states want in a corporate," he said.

'Whole New Ballgame'

Another newly elected member of the board, Paul Lewis, CEO of $72-million SD Medical FCU, San Diego, agreed. Lewis is among those whose credit unions lost money in WesCorp, but said he has no skepticism about moving ahead with a new corporate.

"This is a whole new ballgame," said Lewis. "We will not be taking on the types of risks that took place in the past. The system needs the financial services provided that the new corporate will be providing."

The board has had just one meeting as of press time

The Western Bridge Corporate Charter Committee on has established specific asset size criteria it said would reflect Western Bridge Corporate's broader membership.

Two directors must be from CUs with more than $1 billion in assets, two from CUs with $100 million to $1 billion, and two from CUs with assets below $100 million. There will be one "at large" director. At least one director must be from a CU outside California.

The members of the Board and Supervisory Committee will be listed as official sponsors on the new corporate's charter application, which they said is "on track" to be submitted to NCUA within the next two weeks.

The New WesCorp Board

SAN DIMAS, Calif.—New members of the Western Bridge Corporate board are:
Bill Before, CFO, Spokane Teachers CU, $1.46 billion
Matt Davidson, CFO, Kern Schools FCU, $1.35 billion
Jim Aley, CFO, Honda FCU, $$540 million
Shane Berger, CEO, Beehive FCU, $160 million
Paul Lewis, CEO, San Diego Medical FCU, $71 million
Elizabeth Lipke, CEO, Bourns EFCU, $43 million
Charles Papenfus, CEO, Inland Valley FCU, $38 million

Members of the Supervisory Committee:
Francisco Nebot, CFO, SchoolsFirst FCU, $8.50 billion
Mike Harden, COO, F & A Credit Union, $1.13 billion
Donna Young, COO, Vons Credit Union, $372 million

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