Success Stories

A commonly asked question we receive is: "Does your model really work, for your business, your members and your partners?" Here are few examples of how the First West model helps everyone succeed.

Grow the business

The situation
In early 2008, Valley First Credit Union and Envision Financial began a journey to form First West Credit Union. As merger talks progressed, it was also an opportune time to re-evaluate each credit union’s wealth management platforms.

First West’s anticipated growth meant the organization required a wealth management supplier with a wide selection of products, dynamic platform and technology solutions, and hands-on support as the organization expanded and welcomed other credit unions to its operating model.

The solution
In October 2008, Valley First made the decision to transition to Qtrade Financial Group, and Envision Financial followed suit in May 2009.


Wins for First West & our members

The partners worked together to re-engineer First West’s wealth management  model, with the goal of increasing member access to investment expertise. Senior lending professionals at both Envision Financial and Valley First were trained and licensed to provide mutual fund investment advice, thereby giving members a more holistic financial service experience.

According to David Lanphear, VP of Banking & Insurance Services (Assistant Vice-President of Wealth Management Services at the time), the benefits were relatively immediate.

"Take, for instance, the account opening process for mutual fund sales staff. It was reduced from 60 minutes to about 15 to 30 minutes. That's a huge time-savings for our members and it's also a win for our advisors, since they can now spend more time identifying and serving member needs.

“Our members also experienced enhanced investment statements, online access to account information and more robust planning advice thanks to Qtrade’s integrated technology platform.”

The results speak for themselves, after the first 18 months under the new wealth management model, First West saw trailing 12 month net sales increase by a multiple of three. Additionally, costs to the credit union have been reduced in some areas, as the enhanced platform has eliminated subscriptions to previously required tools.

The new wealth management model was rolled out to Enderby & District Financial senior lending professionals in the summer of 2013, not long after the credit union joined First West.

Outperforming the industry
Since partnering with Qtrade and revamping the wealth management model, after the first 18 months, First West’s investment assets have grown 1.5 times the rate of growth experienced by the mutual fund industry as a whole.


Wins for our partner

As Qtrade CEO Scott Gibner explains, the benefits of working with organizations like First West are exponential.

“Although we have one contract with First West, in reality we’re dealing with a larger business because there are multiple brands. And as First West develops its plan to grow and add more credit unions to its operating model, we’ll also earn a share of that growth. So when First West grows, its partners do as well—and that’s the beauty of this model.”