Addison Avenue FCU of Palo Alto, Calif. and First Tech CU, of Beaverton, Ore., are planning a consolidation this summer creating a $5 billion institution using the First Tech name.
The proposed combination, still subject to regulatory and membership approval, has been in the works since last October and brings together two of the industry's high-tech leaders representing a clientele well-versed in the latest online, investment and social media vehicles. Once finalized, the combined credit union will be the 15th largest in the U.S.
The combination of two healthy and well-capitalized CUs also underscores a new chapter in interstate expansion and likely emergence of a West Coast force with branch penetration in nine states and a strong member presence in major metro markets including Portland and the Bay area.
The combined CU would have 320,000 members nationwide with what was described as a sophisticated "tech culture," embracing such giants as Hewlett Packard, Cisco, Microsoft, Tektronix and Agilent Technologies along with a well-educated government base of state employees.
First Tech has assets of $2.2 billion and a 17-branch network in Oregon and Washington, while Addison Avenue has $2.5 billion and 21 branches including one in Puerto Rico.
Benson Porter, president/CEO of Addison Avenue, commented, "Yes, I am being considered for the CEO job once the merger is cleared by regulatory agencies and approved by the membership." He took over the California CU three years ago after serving as a top executive at the old Washington Mutual Savings in Seattle, now part of Chase Bank.
The veteran president/CEO of First Tech, Tom Sargent, formally disclosed his retirement plans last month "but I will stay on until my successor is selected."
The 59-year-old Sargent, who has been credited with numerous product and management innovations, told Credit Union Times he is retiring "because it is time for a new generation to take over."