MADISON, Wis. – Dr. Richard “Doc” Heins, the well-known CEO of CUNA Mutual from 1988 to 1996 and winner of the 2010 Herb Wegner Award in Washington D.C. for his lifetime achievements in the credit union movement, died Friday at 85.

Heins was born and raised in Wisconsin but moved to California in 1952 where he helped charter a credit union, UCLA’s University CU. He and his wife later moved back to Wisconsin, where he became professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, teaching risk management and insurance and business law for more than 30 years. He served as the chair of his department, was the author of many publications, including a leading textbook, “Principles of Risk Management and Insurance,” before joining CUNA Mutual Insurance as a consultant in 1956. He eventually became president and CEO of the credit union insurer, retiring in 1995.

Among other achievements, Heins brought private mortgage insurance to credit unions through CUNA Mutual, allowing credit unions to write loans for families paying as little as a 5% down payment. He led the development of a brokerage of insurance products for CUNA Mutual and CUNA Mutual Insurance Society, now known as CUMIS, which broadened the offerings of CUNA Mutual Group and increased collateral protections for credit unions and their members. He also participated in the design and implementation of the original CUMIS Bond to replace the bond program of Employers Mutual. The CUMIS Bond became the fidelity bond coverage for nearly 100% of U.S. credit unions.


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