Sargent Reflects on Mega-Merger and Looks Ahead to Retirement
The retiring president/CEO of the soon-to-be-merged First Tech Credit Union in Oregon demurred whether peer CUs across the nation might also be looking at mega matchups and said those are decisions that are only appropriate where the parties perceive real member value.
"I wouldn't think of speaking for others but I know based on our asset size and common cultures, we are convinced it will work for us," said Sargent, who is leaving the helm of the $2.2 billion Beaverton, Ore. CU after 25 years once a July merger with California-based Addison Avenue FCU is completed. The $5 billion merger is the largest of its kind in years.
Sargent, who celebrates his 60th birthday on St. Patrick's Day, is being feted tomorrow night at a retirement dinner party at a Portland hotel with a host of CU luminaries flying in for the occasion to honor, as one invited attendee put it, "one of this industry's most important leaders and innovators."
Under the proposed merger deal, still subject to regulatory and member approval, the combined CU would have its official headquarters in Palo Alto but with corporate offices in Beaverton and Rocklin, Calif. Benson Porter, CEO of Addison, is slated to take over as head of the combined CU.
"We are truly going to miss Tom who has contributed so much to this industry in developing so many online products and being an innovator and collaborator," said William Cheney, president/CEO of the California/Nevada Credit Union League.
Sargent said he is indeed looking forward to sharing the Friday party arranged by the First Tech Board adding he was prepared for a little razzing "as I reminisce with some of my credit union and vendor friends."