Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust is now Eder Financial

A release from Eder Financial

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), which has been serving Church of the Brethren employees and organizations for up to eight decades, is now known as Eder Financial.

On May 4, the State of Illinois officially changed the corporate name of Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust Inc. to Eder Financial Inc., making the transition to accommodate one of BBT’s strategic goals–to adopt new names to better serve its members and clients. At the same time, the names of its two affiliates were also changed–Brethren Foundation Inc. became Eder Deferred Gifts Inc., and Brethren Foundation Funds became Eder Organizational Investing Inc. These new identities reflect BBT’s heritage and will resonate with Church of the Brethren members while being attractive to others outside the denomination who are of like mind and who want to use Eder’s services.

The familiar services of BBT are not changing. Nor is the staff or the board. The only thing that is changing is the name. Eder Financial will continue offering:

— Retirement solutions to employees of Brethren congregations and affiliated organizations

— Employee-based insurances to employees of Brethren congregations and affiliated organizations

— Deferred gifts management and long-term-care insurance to all Brethren members

— Organizational investing opportunities for Brethren congregations and affiliated organizations

— Benevolent grants for pastors and church and district employees who find themselves in severe financial difficulty

— Educational workshops and opportunities

— An investment platform that conforms to Eder Values Investing screens (formerly known as Brethren Values Investing) and promotes advocacy initiatives to encourage for-profit companies to be respectful of God’s creation

The difference is that Eder Financial will now begin serving members and clients of like mind that are outside the Church of the Brethren.

“With changing demographics and affinity within the Church of the Brethren, a move to serve Anabaptist organizations and others of like mind will allow Eder Financial to fulfill its commitments to its members for decades to come,” said Nevin Dulabaum, president.

This logo treatment tells the Eder Financial story:

— The cross, which has served as BBT’s logo for 15 years, represents the newly named organization’s continued commitment to be a faith-based, not-for-profit service provider.

— “Eder” comes from the place where the Brethren movement began, in 1708 at the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany. This name honors the movement and the ideals that led to the creation of the ministry-focused company that serves people and organizations of like mind.

— “Financial” indicates that Eder is firmly rooted in products and services that help members and organizations become sound stewards of their own financial resources.

— “Bold” describes how Eder provides its values-based services, based on the teachings of Jesus, through helpful products, concierge customer service, and competitive fees. Our investment screens are based on Brethren values, and engagement in advocacy implores companies to weigh their strong business practices with being caretakers of God’s creation and people.

— “Balanced” is the manner in which Eder partners with those it serves to help members and clients achieve their objectives.

— “Trusted” signals that Eder looks out for the best interests of those it serves by being proactive and maintaining confidentiality.

Together the first initials of the words “Bold,” “Balanced,” and “Trusted” spell BBT, which is a bridge of the organization’s past to its future.

So what will be the distinctives of the Eder way? Great products, concierge service, competitive fees, values that come from being a faith-based organization, a proactive mindset to partner with our members and clients through their personal or organization’s journey, plenty of investment choices to meet their needs, strong investment returns, a firm moral compass, and a passion to serve.

The identity change is actually the last of Eder’s five strategic goals to be launched. The first was to change operations to be in a growth rather than maintenance mode. The second was to open up the firm’s marketing and promotional efforts in a new way. The third was to have the right positions, and the right people in those positions, a transition that began in January. The fourth was to become a permanent work-from-home organization, which now will allow Eder to hire staff from across the country.

“The strategic steps Eder is implementing will demonstrate to Church of the Brethren members that we are committed to serving them well while building relationships that enable us to serve individuals beyond the denomination,” Dulabaum said. “Our desire is to be a partner to those who benefit from our services.”

The conversion from the Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust identity to that of Eder Financial is going to be a soft and incremental process beginning in the upcoming weeks, with people witnessing the conversion to Eder Financial throughout the summer.

Eder Financial has a small suite of offices at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., although staff members are now operating in a work-from-home arrangement. The company employs 25 people of faith who are committed to serving others. It currently is seeking directors of Pension, Marketing, Communications, Sales, and Data.

Eder Financial is overseen by a 12-member board of directors. They may serve up to two four-year terms. Board members have organizational, financial, accounting, legal, HR, or ministry backgrounds and experience. The organization began in 1943 with the creation of the Brethren Pension Plan. Brethren Insurance Services was added in the 1950s, and organizational investing and deferred gifts in 1990.


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