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Staff profile: Andrew Leys – CEO, NZCU South

July 29th, 2011 -

I’ve been CEO of NZCU South for nearly 4 years now since we merged 5 regional credit unions in 2007. Prior to that I managed NZCU Southland for 11 years and before that I worked in Christchurch.

Over that time I’ve had some great highlights including being awarded Global Young Professional of the year for Credit Unions in 2001, and also being involved in the Workplace Savings Ministerial advisory group which helped design “Kiwisaver”. However, I can think of nothing which can give me more purpose in life and sense of achievement than running NZCU South.

As CEO of NZCU South I have in some ways a very easy job, while on others a very difficult one. It is easy because we are not only locally owned, but owned by you our customers. This means it is easy to define why we exist and why South Islanders should choose be a part of this great organisation called NZCU South. Put simply, we are passionate about helping our members in achieving more with their hard earned money.

If you are already a customer you will know that we try very hard to help you take control of your finances and then set goals to become financially stronger. What I love about my job is hearing all the success stories from customers who have achieved something with our help that they previously didn’t feel possible.

Because these stories are so personal you don’t hear too much about them, however it has been great to see so many customers sharing their great success stories on our Facebook page so that more people can see that we don’t just talk about helping our customers succeed, we do it every day.

One great story I heard in the past week was about a customer who changed jobs, and because he went straight from one job to the next he ended up with a nice little final pay from his old job including holiday pay. Now because he had been using our “Ultimate” package, including one-on-one Money Coaching for the past year, he used the extra funds to clear 4 small bills, which freed up $320 per fortnight.

He and his wife then used those funds to increase paying down other debt so they could be debt free much sooner. They both commented that prior joining NZCU South and utilising the Money Coaching service they would have just blown the extra cash and not be nearly as well off.

They had surprised themselves at their changed attitude towards money and how confident they now were about their future. I’m confident that this couple will achieve great things with their future finances thanks in no small way to the fact they now bank where “they are not just a customer but also an owner”.

The most challenging part of my job is letting people know of the many great things we do so that we can help everyone to achieve more with their hard earned money. I was quoted in a recent Consumer Article about how NZCU’s are “the best kept secret”. While this may be an endearing term for some, what it means to me is there are lots of people missing out on what we have to offer. They are missing out because they only know of the major banks and don’t know enough about us to realise what they are missing out on.

So, as you can see, my role of CEO is fantastic on the one hand because of all the great things I hear about everyday where our staff are helping individual customers to become financially stronger. This gives me and NZCU South a great sense of purpose. On the other hand my role is challenging as we seek to let more people know about the great things we do. The best way the message gets out is still, unsurprisingly, our customers telling their friends and family about what they are missing out on.

I believe the future is bright, especially with NZCU on your side.

If you would like to connect to me on LinkedIn, my online profile is here: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-leys/6/5a2/87a

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