Collaboration

Voluntary Mergers: The Stuff No One Says Out Loud by Guy Messick

I get it.  You want to merge with a peer sized credit union.  Together you will have more scale, twice the number of branches, twice the membership size, twice the assets…twice, twice, twice.    Having all things twice should create the golden ticket of economies of scale.   But after the merger you seem to have twice the payroll but not twice the benefits.  What happened?   The dirty little details get in the way.

  1. If you don’t trim the payroll, you don’t save money. People are the highest cost of operations.   Unless you have fewer employees after the merger, you are not going to save money.   Are you willing to make those decisions?
  2. If you don’t trim the vendors, you don’t save money. The continuing credit union needs to quickly decide what vendor to use for each service.  Having multiple vendors for a service within a credit union does not create efficiencies.
  3. Be ruthless in you vendor selection. Past relationships with vendors are great but that is not a reason to keep a vendor if the vendor is not competitive on price and quality.  Buying a foursome at your credit union golf outing is not a sufficient reason to keep a vendor.
  4. The cost of terminating vendor relationships is a cost of the merger and should be calculated into the decision.  This is especially true for core IT services where the termination fees can be excessive.
  5. The staff expertise needed to run a credit union of X size is not the same as running a credit union of 2X size. The general level of expertise has to increase significantly if the size and complexity of the operation increases significantly.   There are all-star employees working at smaller credit union who could work at any sized credit union but the overall expertise level at smaller credit unions is not equal to the overall expertise required at larger more complex credit unions.  If the merger puts you in a peer class that is significantly larger, are you willing to make the necessary changes in staff?  That is a significant hidden merger cost.
  6. Larger credit unions tend to have different operational processes and a more formalized protocol and policy structure, which is often required to ensure consistency in member loans and regulatory compliance. Are you ready for that?
  7. The technology tools in a larger credit union tend to be more extensive and expensive than in a smaller credit union. Do you understand that cost and has that been a part of the analysis?
  8. If the merger puts your credit union within the jurisdiction of the CFPB, are you ready for the enormous costs of that oversight?
  9. Do you have the attitude to analyze the profitability of services and cut services that cannot be self-sustaining?
  10. Have you gotten past the post-merger identity of the CEO and directors? Does the board have the vision and talent for a larger, more complicated organization?
  11. How are you dealing with the staff issues? What will be the organizational structure and who is in each of the slots?  How are those decisions being made…by unemotional analysis or by cutting internal deals to be “fair”?
  12. How are you dealing with different salary levels and employee benefits? Do you have to pay retention bonuses to keep key employees around for the transition?
  13. Can you close branches? Do you have keep unprofitable branches open?
  14. Is there a strategy to tear down the “us vs. them” walls and tribe-like behavior that sometimes occurs post-merger?
  15. Do you have the metrics to measure the success of the merger?

Read more on Voluntary Mergers: The Stuff No One Says Out Loud by Guy Messick…

Collaboration: The New Competitive Weapon

collab-illustration-gears-headerThat was the title of the January 4th article posted by Emily Waite on GonzoBanker. The article is geared to encouraging the 6,000 banks that share less than half the market to come together in the spirit of collaboration so they can compete.

Waite states “Today, banking executives are struggling to stay current in an industry growing ever-more complex with increased regulation, changing customer expectations and digital disruption.”

Sounds so familiar, which is why we are proud to have over 3 decades of collaboration history under out belts in the form of the CUSO. There are estimated to be over 1,200 CUSOs in the US and we’re excited to be able to confirm that number with data after the CUSO Registry is complete this week. Reminder: If you haven’t registered your CUSO, please do so before March 31st.

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Merger Should Be the Last Resort. Collaboration is Key.

This year my husband and I traveled to Roswell, New Mexico for 4th of July and the International UFO Festival. It’s not to be missed. On Saturday morning we decided to take a walk around town. Just a couple of blocks off the Main Street and at the end of the historic district we came upon this beautiful home/credit union:

florist

The Florist Federal Credit Union. Founded in 1969 the credit union only serves florists, their families and their employees. They offer business loans, deposit accounts and merchant card services. Their VISA cards are gorgeous (flowers of course) They are $7.8 million in assets with just 900 members. This is old school, single sponsor, in a house, listening to their members needs and providing the unique products their target audience wants. I wonder if they still have a credit committee? They are financially strong and as long as there are flowers and florists this credit union should be around for a very long time.

Read more on Merger Should Be the Last Resort. Collaboration is Key….

2011 Board of Directors Nomination and Election Process

In 2011, there are four (4) NACUSO Board of Directors seats that are up for election.  Each seat has a three (3) year term.  The recent amendments to the By-Laws no longer have special category requirements.   All persons who are representatives of Primary Members in good standing as of the Record date are eligible to run for the Board.  View all the information including Nomination Forms on the 2011 Directors Nomination page.

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NACUSO Announces Board of Director Election Results at 2009 Annual Conference

The National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) announced the results of the 2009 Board Directors at its Annual Membership Meeting on May 4. The Annual Membership Meeting was part of the NACUSO 2009 Annual Conference at the Las Vegas Encore Hotel.  Under NACUSO’s By-Laws, there is a Board of eleven directors, four directors from Platinum Partner members, three directors from CUSO members that are not Platinum Partners and four directors without any qualifying representative connection. Read more on NACUSO Announces Board of Director Election Results at 2009 Annual Conference…