Strategic Merger in Ohio
An Ohio merger deal, years in the making, is providing a retirement honor and sendoff for a 38-year industry veteran, Tom Furrey, the president/CEO of the $65 million Western CU.
Under the consolidation plan, described as “strategic in nature,” Furrey’s CU, which he has headed 20 years, is being merged into a competitor, the $60 million Powerco CU also of Columbus.
Furrey, who retired Dec. 31, will become a consultant once the transaction is completed. He has been chairman of the Ohio Credit Union Foundation and has held down numerous volunteer jobs within the Ohio Credit Union League.
Eventually a third CU, which was not identified, will be added to the mix, explained Michael Shafer, president/CEO of Powerco, adding the entire transaction is distinctive and unusual. Both Western CU and Powerco are financially healthy but now see operational synergies in combining, he said.
All of the details on a management agreement and the initial merger of Western into Powerco CU will be spelled out in a matter of days, officials said.
Furrey and Shafer have known each other for years. Furrey was CEO at Powerco for 11 years, from 1981 to 1992, and Shafer worked at Western for 10 years from 1989 to 1999.
“Synergy between the two individuals and the two credit unions is quite unique,” said a press statement. Western has branches in Columbus, Delaware and Plain City. Powerco has one office.
Shafer has been CEO of Powerco for the past 12 years.