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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – VolCorp CEO Bruce Fahnestock will retire effective April 28. Fahnestock, 59, said he has been talking about retirement with his board for at least the last year. “I love credit unions and have enjoyed the last 15 years,” said Fahnestock. “All I want to think about now is fishing.” Fahnestock said he plans to stay in Tennessee. Along with fishing, he will have more time to do one of his long distance motorcycle rides. This announcement comes at a very interesting time. VolCorp is in the process of merging with WesCorp. The merger has run into some regulatory issues at the state level and is currently at a standstill. Fahnestock is confident the merger will get done, and doesn’t expect his retirement to affect it. “Unfortunately we’ve been stifled in our efforts thus far, but ultimately the value of the merger will be seen by all.” VolCorp has named its CFO, Rick Veach, as acting CEO. WesCorp CEO Bob Siravo doesn’t expect Fahnestock’s retirement to impact the merger. “I don’t think it means anything right now. It was a personal decision on Bruce’s part. I am disappointed to see him retire, but we’re still a full go on the merger,” said Siravo. Siravo said VolCorp and WesCorp are currently looking at ways to alleviate the difficulties they are running into with the Tennessee regulator, which has denied the merger. VolCorp is unique in that it was created by statute; it essentially has its own law, a law that does not provide for mergers. Some speculate the merger isn’t going through because of the history of VolCorp and how the state rallied to help it survive. The state legislature helped VolCorp stay in existence at a time when it was operating at a loss. The regulator has said because of the law it would need the legislature to pass another law to allow for the merger. The regulator has also said the benefits to VolCorp members are not compelling enough. Others speculate the regulator is trying to protect the $100,000-plus it gets in fees from VolCorp each year, revenue that would disappear should the merger go through. Fahnestock’s financial services career started in 1971 with Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company. He then moved on to a savings and loan in Northern Virginia. Then he went to work for the Navy on the financial end for eight years. His next stop was with an investment firm as a broker, before joining VolCorp in 1991 as director of investments. He was named CFO in 1995 and CEO in 1997. Fahnestock has been very active on many levels in the industry, holding committee spots with the Association of Corporate Credit Unions, NASCUS, CUNA and U.S. Central. As he leaves the industry, Fahnestock believes things are looking good. “I am enthusiastic about the corporate network. I certainly understand the consolidation taking place and feel that our merger announcement with WesCorp was the fuse on the stick that started the consolidation. I certainly think it will be good for credit unions and their members,” he said. He also noted that he believes Francis Lee moving to U.S. Central will have compelling benefits at all levels. Fahnestock firmly believes he is retired from the credit union industry, but would not rule out some other business ventures down the road. -

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