State National Companies Partners With Filene Research

Collaboration in new Center for Emerging Technology to spark innovations for credit unions

Bedford, TX, January 29, 2020 — State National Companies has joined forces with renowned research firm Filene in a research venture designed to connect credit unions with the most impactful technology and drive forward-thinking business decisions.

Filene’s five Centers of Excellence (CoE) form the pillars of Filene’s research agenda, which seeks to advance financial wellness by transforming cooperative finance and moving credit unions forward. The CoEs explore topics critical to credit unions, including the most pressing factors they face now and in the future that would impact their ability to serve, excel, and grow.

“Credit unions deal with many of the same issues as any financial institution in today’s complex financial services landscape, but they also face particular challenges and opportunities specific to their unique business model and mission,” said Trace Ledbetter, Executive Vice President at State National. “Filene has been the clear leader for many years when it comes to pioneering research that benefits credit unions, and I can’t think of a better ally to help us support our credit union partners in successfully managing today’s sometimes overwhelming technology options.”

Led by Filene Fellow Bill Maurer, The Center for Emerging Technology studies issues relevant to credit unions and connects credit union leadership and staff with the most impactful technology and consumer trends. As director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) at UC Irvine, Maurer coordinates research on new financial technologies in over 40 countries and is firmly focused on the credit union movement’s accomplishments in cooperative finance and financial justice.

State National has launched several recent initiatives to increase the company’s thought leadership presence in the credit union space, including a 16-member Client Advisory Council and white papers on subjects such as artificial intelligence and risk mitigation strategies for credit unions.

“We have had a core focus on and special relationship with credit unions for almost 50 years, and we’re always looking for new innovations to help them succeed,” said Ledbetter. “We’re excited about this opportunity to leverage the latest data and research to help credit unions navigate current technology trends as well as explore new areas where they can proactively find and adopt advanced technology to better serve their members.”

“The velocity and complexity of technological change today can be confounding, and here at Filene, we’re excited to partner with State National Companies to explore the wide-reaching implications of financial technologies — new and old — for credit unions and their members through the Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology,” added Taylor Nelms, Filene’s Senior Director of Research. “State National has always been committed to simplifying the complex, and with State National’s support, Filene and our research partners at the University of California, Irvine, will be able to connect cutting-edge academic insights and inspiration to real-world impact.”


About State National Companies

State National Companies, Inc. is a leading specialty provider of property and casualty insurance services operating in two niche markets across the United States. In its Lender Services segment, the Company specializes in providing portfolio protection solutions that insure autos, mortgages, and other collateral for loans made by credit unions, banks, and specialty finance companies. In its Program Services segment, the Company leverages its “A” (Excellent) A.M. Best rating, expansive licenses, and trusted reputation to provide access to the U.S. property and casualty insurance market in exchange for ceding fees. State National Companies is a division of Markel, a Fortune 500 holding company for insurance, reinsurance, and investment operations. To learn more, please visit and connect on LinkedIn.


About Filene

Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting consumer financial wellness, the future of credit unions, and cooperative finance. Founded 30 years ago as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Filene moves credit unions forward with research and incubation support. For more information, visit and @fileneresearch.


For more information about State National, visit
Maria McLendon, Vice President of Marketing
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