found a new chief executive. Bradford T. Nordholm, now president of a National Cooperative Bank subsidiary, was selected Nov. 17 to head the industry's primary liquidity facility. The Overland Park, Kan., institution settled on Mr. Nordholm because of his experience with corporate banking and asset/liability management as well as in leading different units within the National Cooperative Bank. "Brad offers a unique blend of leadership experience in banking, as well as in supporting and serving cooperative organizations," U.S. Central chairman Don Finn said in a statement. "U.S. Central has a very strong and historic role and function in the credit union system and I'm looking forward to working there," said 39- year-old Mr. Nordholm, an 11-year veteran of the National Cooperative Bank, a Washington institution that funds the growth of cooperatives around the country. U.S. Central has been looking for a leader since former chief executive James R. Bell quit under a cloud in March. Mr. Bell complained that interference from the Credit Union National Association, which used to hold a majority of seats on the board, was making his job impossible. The search was further complicated because, several months after Mr. Bell left, U.S. Central received the National Credit Union Administration's second-worst performance rating, a Camel 4. Because of the grade, the agency had the power to veto any candidate - and sources said it did so several times. The tumult surrounding U.S. Central also hurt the search, sources said. At least one candidate - Robert Bream, chief executive of Chicago-based United Air Lines Employees Credit Union - turned down an offer because of the institution's problems. But although Mr. Nordholm expects running U.S. Central to be challenging, he does not think it will be impossible. For example, he noted that the shared management contract between CUNA and U.S. Central was canceled last year and that corporates now represent a majority on the liquidity facility's board. Also, he said U.S. Central has been addressing problems raised by the regulator. "Over the last six months the board and management have done a number of things to address the regulatory issues," Mr. Nordholm said. "We've made commendable progress." Another challenge on the horizon: adjusting to yet-to-be released regulations from NCUA that will rein in corporate investments and require higher capital. "That does bring some additional uncertainty, but everyone in the financial services industry is dealing with uncertainty now," he said.
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