Tribe Expands Interest in Tribal Lending Operation
On Tuesday, March 5, 2019 the LCO Tribal Governing Board executed a contract between LCO Financial Services and a material service provider Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP for their e-commerce Fintech operation.
One of the primary services provided under the contract is for analytics and financial services model building which will be essential for the tribe in furthering the advancement of its e-commerce lending business.
LCO Tribal Chairman Louis Taylor said that he is pleased to see the further growth and improvement in the business. He said that the increasing value in its assets and income from the business will drive more capabilities to meet the needs of the tribe and its members through expansion of the social services LCO is able to offer.
Along with the development of its portfolio assets, the tribe will be expanding its customer support center which will enable more employment opportunities for tribal and community members. The expansion plans over the first three years call for more than quadrupling the number of jobs in a variety of customer service and professional positions on the reservation.
“Our team continues to grow and develop our capabilities. We are a world class provider of financial products and will continue to make investments in our business. As we rely less on service providers now and in the future, we will create even more jobs for our members. There is a large amount of compliance, process controls, and various operational capabilities that go into running a successful e-commerce lending operation” said Secretary-Treasurer Weaver and TGB member Tweed Shuman.
Chairman Taylor acknowledged the team that negotiated the deal with CBP and other necessary service providers including TGB members Jason Weaver, Tweed Shuman and Don Carley, LCO Attorney General Jason Kekek Stark and tribal attorney Dyllan Linehan, LCO FS Director Lee Harden and outside counsel Nicole St. Germaine.
Tweed Shuman added that the Chairman was also a big part of the negotiations.
Taylor said under proper management the portfolios expect to bring in millions of dollars each year.
“This new deal is going to allow us to do many things for our membership” Chairman Taylor said. “Everyone talks about the C2 Store, or the Hideout, and how they’d like to see things done. But it takes money, and now we will have the money to do that.”
John Clark, General Manager of Cane Bay Partners said, “Cane Bay is proud to serve LCO Financial Services and the LCO tribe as a service provider for their e-commerce business. We understand how the tribes can capitalize on economic opportunities including those in the e-commerce space. We are pleased to assist the Tribe to make their e-commerce business even more profitable so that they can provide their members more resources to support their health, education, and employment, among other important initiatives.
One benefit of this new contract will be resources for an immediate and material increase to the social services budget that the TGB leadership will be announcing to various areas of the tribe over the next few months.
Weaver said, “I am very happy with the work our team has put in to this new deal we reached with our lending portfolio service providers. It has been a very long process to make sure we are getting a deal that provides an option for us to learn the entire business, so we can create many new and better paying jobs here at LCO.”
Weaver noted as Vice Chairman of NAFSA, he knows how other Tribes have succeeded in this industry and brought hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue to their respective Tribes.
“My vision for LCO Financial Services has been to be a leader in the industry with returning customers that appreciate the services we offer,” Weaver said. “We will be able to create new departments within Financial Services and absorb more of the services that we currently contract out like marketing, lead generation and analytics. The opportunity is now here to make a great business for the tribe that will diversify our income with the potential to out preform our gaming industry within a few years. I am very excited for our Tribe and the potential we have before us.”
LCO Vice Chairman Jason Schlender said this new deal is an exciting opportunity for Lac Courte Oreilles.
“I look forward to asserting our sovereign authority by investing in new ventures and becoming a leader in the area of e-commerce and expanding Lac Courte Oreilles’ positive impact on Indian Country,” Schlender said. “Miigwech to the negotiating team, especially the LCO Office of the Attorney General and Attorney Nicole St. Germaine and their respective staffs for their diligence in getting this deal completed.”
TGB Member, Rose Gokee added, “This contract renewal was largely possible due to the full support from the Governing Board. The Governing Board would also like to recognize the LCOFS Board for their efforts.”
The funding generated from this contract renewal will not only create an economic impact on our community but surrounding communities as well. The creation of jobs and the impact on meeting the needs of our community is paramount. A sincere appreciation for all individuals involved.
The old Boys and Girls Club on Trepania Road is being remodeled into the new, larger LCO Financial Services headquarters, which is expected to be completed by May 1, 2019. The new facility will have offices for all management personnel and a large call center for the many new employees expected to be added.
The entire building is being remodeled with LCO Financial Services occupying half the building. Tweed Shuman stated the other half could be used for a number of things, such as future expansion of LCOFS, more office space, a business incubation center, etc.
“Chairman Taylor, the Lac Courte Oreilles tribal governing board, Kekek Stark and Nicole St. Germaine went to work and fought for building the business and contracting with best of breed service providers,” Shuman said. “And as a result, this new deal and the growth of the business, it will bring in millions of dollars more to the general fund each year.
Pictured (L-R) are members of the LCO negotiating team, LCO Attorney General Jason Kekek Stark, TGB member Don Carley and LCO Chairman Louis Taylor. Seated is TGB member and LCO Financial Services Board Chairman Tweed Shuman.