Treasure State Chairman Eyes Positive Merger Future; Representation Sought
Beyond nostalgia, the chairman of Treasure State Corporate Credit Union said this week he has no real regrets about the demise of the Montana corporate because all of the existing wholesale and processing services look to be handled seamlessly by its new parent, Kansas Corporate Credit Union of Wichita.
The major caveat as a result of the Jan. 1 merger will be ensuring a Montana voice in the restructuring, said Kevin Mayer, the outgoing head of Helena-based Treasure State who also is president/CEO of the $56 million Richland CU of Sidney.
On that, the president/CEO of Kansas Corp., Larry Eisenhauer, said his board at its first meeting in late January under the new structure does expect to consider the representation issue based on the number of Montana CUs agreeing to recapitalization.
So far the results are “quite positive,” he said.
“We already have very good Montana representation with 85% of the credit unions committed to capitalization,” said Eisenhauer, stressing the Kansas corporate expects to continue and improve wholesale services to the 57 CUs that have been part of Treasure. Under the merger, Kansas Corporate will also retain a Helena office.
“Ever since NCUA came out with those regulations following U.S. Central, we knew it wasn’t feasible to do business on our own and we had to look for a new partner,” explained Mayer, maintaining most members of Treasure State remain “comfortable” with the consolidation and so far there has been “not even a hiccup” in the transition.
Treasure State was formed in 1977.
As has been the pattern in some areas many of the largest CUs, while keeping token accounts in the surviving corporates, have chosen to align with new providers and that looks to be the case in Montana.
“It’s an issue we haven’t decided on just yet but we know the clock is ticking,” declared James Kenyon, president/CEO of the $1.2 billion Whitefish CU, the state’s largest, which still does its processing business with a Helena CUSO but has the Federal Reserve System in its sights.
Kenyon said his CU, which does not offer checking accounts, has been concentrating on “keeping positive” in an economy still suffering from 12% unemployment. He said Whitefish, located in western Montana, has “not been as fortunate as the oil-rich eastern part of the state” during the recession.