Kansas CUSO Aims to Bring Ease to CU Merger Talks
With some of the latest industry merger attempts bringing out tensions among members, senior management and boards, Beyond Marketing LLC is hoping to provide some proactive relief.
The Lenexa, Kan.-based CUSO is prepping to launch a direct mail packet that aims to help credit unions prepare a schedule on when and what to communicate if a merger is in the works.
Some of the communiqué includes items such as when to notify members of the voting process, recommendations regarding vendor relationships, relaying how a merger will impact employees and operations and putting together press releases for media outlets.
Credit unions will have access to the Do it Yourself Package, which contains a guide plan, editable timeline/schedule, multiple member, staff, industry/local, and vendor communications templates. The Do it for Myself Package comes with custom consulting, copywriting and layout, and can include all printing, mailing, and emailing needs.
“From the member’s standpoint, we’re concerned about retention. Credit unions have their reputation on the line,” said Larry Hayes, president/CEO of CU Holding Co., also in Lenexa, that manages the strategic direction of Beyond Marketing as well as XtraCash LLC, TruHome Solutions, TruHome Title Solutions, Cooperative Payroll Solutions LLC, and MEMBERS Development Co.
CU Holding is a wholly owned subsidiary of the $475 million Mazuma Credit Union in Kansas City, Mo.
One of the goals is to come up with the best ways to address any concerns members may have about the new structure, Hayes said.
“We don’t want credit unions to lose members to banks,” said Curtis Hays, director of strategy at Beyond Marketing. “The focus will be on the success of the credit union and its sustainability.”
While the industry has many firms that help credit unions navigate through the legal, financial and operational aspects of a merger, Beyond Marketing said its new offering will focus just on the communications. Hayes said the packet is scheduled to debut over the next few weeks.
Some of the questions that may arise in pre-merger talks are what will happen to respective departments, will the surviving members have full access to products and services and will vendor relationships change, Hays said.
One area that Beyond Marketing will not delve into is potentially contentious issues such as if members do not want the merger and have taken actions to stop it, Hayes said, adding most credit unions choose to have town hall meeting to talk about such concerns.
“We’re seen more mergers over the last five years. The reason we’re trying to help with mergers is so that members don’t have to go elsewhere,” Hayes reiterated.