First Tech/Addison Ave. Merger Sign of New Thinking
The planned $4.6 billion, mega-merger of First Tech Credit Union and Addison Avenue FCU points to new industry thinking on future combinations of equals, according to Callahan & Associates.
The key or the critical outcome in any of these mergers is whether there will be real benefit to the members in new services, better rates etc and whether the merger strengthens the member relationship," declared Jay Johnson, Callahan executive vice president. He also noted the just completed $1.4 billion consolidation of Detroit Edison CU and NuUnion CU of Lansing, Mich. into Lake Trust CU.
Both First Tech/Addison, which would become the largest CU merger in history, and Detroit Edison/NuUnion share common traits in being voluntary marriages of equals in existing markets, according to Johnson.
However, because of member penetration and other factors, the ramifications of the two-state consolidation of Portland, Ore.-based First Tech and Addison Avenue of Palo Alto, Calif. seem to have huge import for the industry in charting new boardroom policies, he said. "These two mergers have opened up many new ideas for credit unions across the country," observed Johnson noting another large merger a year ago of Eastern Financial FCU of Miami into Space Coast CU of Melbourne, Fla. does not quite fit the pattern since it is one in which "NCUA had to provide assistance."