In order to ensure the viability of a collaborative merger, credit union leaders should keep the following in mind:
Choose appropriate partners
Collaborative mergers will only be successful if there is a mutually beneficial value proposition on the table. All the key stakeholders should share a similar vision.
CEO support is only part of the story. Without the backing of members, staff and the board it will be difficult for any merger to gain traction. Convincing multiple board members across multiple credit unions can be arduous, but it is a necessary component of any collaborative business model.
Explore shared interests/problems
In every collaborative merger, there will be one entity that maintains its charter and takes a leading role both operationally and strategically. Having conversations early and often can help all of the participants recognize shared interests, problems and challenges.
By working together, credit unions can tap into a broader array of expertise that will lead to the delivery of new products and services. This is especially helpful for smaller credit unions that need additional resources to expand their product offerings. For more on this subject, read “The urge to merge.” ◊
Reprinted with permission from Credit Union 2.0: An Opportunity to Build Collaborative Partnerships, a Filene Research Institute report. With thanks to Manpreet Nat and George Hofheimer.