Envision Financial and First Calgary Savings

August 18, 2006 17:20 ET

Unique Canadian partnership attracts international attention

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor CALGARY, AB AND LANGLEY, BC, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 18, 2006) - Two Canadian credit unions are creating a stir and making international news with a unique and highly innovative partnership. This joint venture, known as the Pathways Project, is a one-of-a-kind inter-provincial partnership between B.C.-based Envision Financial and Alberta-based First Calgary Savings. Recently, Pathways caught the attention of major American media network MSNBC, one of the world's leading news organizations.

MSNBC will feature a story about the Pathways Project on Terry Bradshaw's Winner's Circle on Monday, August 21. The Winner's Circle is a television program that highlights successful North American companies and businesses that apply innovative approaches and strategies. The Pathways feature will also appear online at broadcastnewscorp.com.

Launched in 2004, the Pathways Project is a partnership between Envision Financial and First Calgary Savings which sees the two credit unions consolidating many operational functions to achieve growth, enhanced financial performance, increased operating efficiency, and added value for member-owners. At the same time, the partnership enables each credit union to retain its identity, offering locally-responsive decision-making and service within its own marketplace.

"The Pathways Project is truly a ground-breaking venture," says Dave Gregory, President and CEO of First Calgary Savings. "It's the first inter-provincial credit union partnership in Canada, and the first partnership of its kind in North America. Naturally we're pleased to be featured on a major news network like MSNBC."

"First Calgary Savings and Envision share the same values and vision, and share a similar deep-rooted commitment to their member-owners and their respective communities," says Gord Huston, President and CEO of Envision Financial. "When two organizations that are moving in the same direction identify an opportunity to forge a mutually beneficial relationship that will bring about greater financial strength, it makes sense to partner."

"This unique partnership enables us to consolidate our back-end office functions to achieve economies of scale and increase our efficiency, while at the same time maintain our local brand and standards of personalized, regionally-sensitive service," says Gregory.

"The benefits reaped by our member-owners are significant," adds Huston. "Pathways results in improved financial performance for both credit unions, helping us become stronger, healthier, more sustainable organizations with expanded pools of resources and expertise. As a result, our member-owners gain access to a greater selection of products and services."

The MSNBC feature on the Pathways Project will air on Monday, August 21 at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 5:45 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time, and 4:45 a.m. Pacific Time. For more information on the Pathways Project or to view the two minute segment, visit www.gopathwaysproject.com.

First Calgary Savings is a proud member of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies Platinum Club, while Envision Financial is recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Employers for four years running as determined by the Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine.

Envision Financial, home of the Redfrog mortgage, is among Canada's largest credit unions with 18 branches and 19 insurance offices across British Columbia, over $3.0 billion in assets under administration, nearly 80,000 member-owners and nearly 800 employees. Envision has four subsidiaries: Envision Insurance Services Ltd., Envision Investment Services Ltd., CUDealerlink and Envision Leasing Ltd. Envision is designated a Caring Company by Imagine Canada. For more information on Envision Financial, visit envisionfinancial.ca.

First Calgary Savings' branch network consists of 16 retail branches, 12 financial planning centres, a commercial banking facility, a dealer services operation and a locally-based contact centre. With $1.5 billion in assets under administration and approximately 100,000 member-owners, First Calgary Savings offers a complete line of financial products and services. First Calgary Savings is designated a caring company by Imagine Canada. The 425 employees of First Calgary Savings are proud to be leading, learning and living in the communities they serve. For more information on First Calgary Savings, visit 1stcalgary.com. /For further information: First Calgary Savings contact: Janice Iverson
Manager, Corporate Citizenship and Communications
Phone: 403.520.6813
Email: jiverson@1stcalgary.com

For more information on the Pathways Project visit:
www.gopathwaysproject.com/ IN: FINANCE

Contact Information

  • Sarah Pederson, Manager, Communications and Public Relations, Envision Financial
    Primary Phone: 604-539-7057
    Secondary Phone: 778-808-6353
    E-mail: spederson@envisionfinancial.ca