GCU President/CEO June Report
Taking Things for Granted
Have you ever taken anything for granted? I think that we all have at some time in one way or another. Memorial Day was recently celebrated, as it is each year. It is a time to reflect upon the many sacrifices that our service men and women have made since our country’s official founding on July 4th, 1776. The individuals that served and are currently serving in various arms of our military are “Our True Heroes.” We must never forget, especially those that gave their life in the ultimate sacrifice, in protecting our freedom that we may “take for granted.” Over the course of the past year, this pandemic allowed me to watch some war movies that provided very graphic events of war that really triggered a “take for granted” moment for me. I invite you, if you have not already, to watch “Saving Private Ryan,” “Band of Brothers” and “We Were Soldiers.” The history books that we read over the course of our education informs us at a high level the various wars our Country has been in and is involved with that really does not do justice to the real sacrifices our military personnel make. So, as we are about to celebrate the Fourth of July, we should once again honor all individuals that serve and have served our country that also makes this celebration possible year after year!
At GCU we are very fortunate that we too can celebrate our continued financial success. As we informed you in the April Annual Report issue of the GCU Magazine, we have “weathered another storm” (the pandemic). The issue presented for your review a sound balance sheet and income statement for year end 2020. Through the Grace of God and oversight by our Patron Saint, St. Nicholas of Myra, we are also off to a great start for the first five months of 2021 as well. Our first quarter 2021 financial performance of key components reflects admitted assets increasing 2.3% or $ 49.9 million from year end 2020 and now totals $ 2.25 billion. Net income from operations after refunds and before capital gains and losses increased $ 1.8 million or 36% in comparing the first quarter of 2021 verses 2020. Surplus increased $4.5 million or 2.5% from year end 2020. Detailed financial reports and commentary on the GCU’s first quarter financial results of 2021 are presented on page 4 in the GCU June Magazine by our CFO, Tim Demetres. Again, we express our sincere thank you for your trust and confidence in placing your life and annuity business with the GCU. Our sincere appreciation to our agents as well in promoting the GCU and the various products we currently offer.
I say currently offer as we have launched a new Fixed Indexed Annuity Product (FIA) in June. We are most confident that this product will generate additional annuity premium that will offer to our members an opportunity to seek a greater return compared to our fixed rate annuity products offered. Additional information on this product will be available on the GCU website and through our various select agents.
As we anticipate additional annuity premium from our new Fixed Indexed Annuity product, we are experiencing excellent increased premium within our current life and annuity products for the first five months of 2021. Life premium reflects a 60% increase in total premium through May 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. We anticipate this percentage to increase throughout the year as various pandemic guidelines are relaxed or terminated allowing for our agents to meet personally with prospective members. Our fixed rate annuity premium is also exceeding our projected budget through May as well—annuity premium reflects a 19% increase in new money deposits. We cannot express our sincere thank you enough to our members and agents for your continued support of the GCU.
It has been “tough sledding” on the fraternal side of our business. We are eagerly anticipating that our lodges and districts will be able to increase their various activities as more of the population continues to get vaccinated. We once again express our gratitude to the lodges and districts that were able to schedule some activities within their churches and communities. On a National level, the GCU National Bowling Tournament was cancelled for this year. However, our National Golf Tournament will take place August 6-8, 2021 at Treasure Lake Golf Resort located in DuBois, PA. This event will once again be sponsored by the GCU, Slovak Catholic Sokol and the First Catholic Slovak Union. We invite you to participate and we can certainly guarantee a weekend of great golf and camaraderie!
As everyone has “cabin fever” due to the events of this past year, travel and outdoor leisure activities are anticipated to spike this summer. As we are in the midst of the spring season, it is certainly appropriate that the reprieve from this pandemic is occurring simultaneously as we see nature awaking from its winter slumber, seeing more activity, socializing with our friends and patronizing at many of our favorite places to visit with much less fear. So, in closing, my best wishes to you and your family for a safe, fun and relaxing summer! Enjoy the spring and summer landscape that God has provided!
GOODNESS IS GREAT
George N. Juba