Credential Financial, a leading national wealth management provider, has launched the Credential Affiliates Program connecting Credential’s credit union partners with select portfolio management firms specializing in discretionary investment management for affluent investors.

Randy Biberdorf, vice president, Wealth Management, Servus Credit Union, said: "The Credential Affiliates Program will not only enhance our wealth management offering allowing us to better serve our high net worth members, it also presents new business development opportunities for credit unions across Canada. Our members who currently enjoy the top ranked customer service they receive from us can now also benefit from the exceptional service and expertise of high caliber portfolio managers."

Through a collaborative approach, portfolio managers will provide money management services to affluent credit union members, who may have typically looked to bank-owned brokers or other institutions for their investment needs.

In order to fully meet these clients’ complex needs, the portfolio managers will take a holistic approach by referring to accredited credit union investment professionals to provide additional wealth management services including estate planning, insurance needs analysis, and retirement planning.

The program presents credit unions with another opportunity to expand their business by catering to the growing number of affluent investors in Canada.

According to the 2013 edition of the Household Balance Sheet Report by Investor Economics, in the next decade, the high net worth segment will be the fastest growing both in terms of number of households and dollars.

These projections show that by 2022 there will be nearly 2.2 million Canadians with assets of more than $500,000, and this segment of the population will control $4.5 trillion in investable assets.

Bruce Shewfelt, CEO, Connor, Clark & Lunn Private Capital, said: "As one of the affiliate portfolio management firms in this program, we look forward to collaborating with Credential’s credit union partners and providing their members with our expert guidance on all aspects of discretionary investment management. Working with Credential, a trusted Canadian custodian, has expanded both our referral and direct business networks, allowing us to grow alongside Credential and their credit union clients in a sustainable partnership."

Kim Thompson, senior vice president, Advisory Services, Credential, said: "We’re pleased to address the growing needs of our partners and their members through innovative strategic initiatives. The Credential Affiliates Program forges mutually beneficial relationships that provide credit unions and portfolio management firms with new opportunities to grow their business and better serve the investment needs of Canadian credit union members."