Doug Petersen, president/CEO of the $880 million Workers' Credit Union in Fitchburg, Mass., recalls asking the president/CEO of a small credit union why he chose Workers' to consider a merger deal. The CEO acknowledged that in addition to Petersen, he also called four other credit union CEOs. When Petersen asked why, the CEO said, "Because you were the only ones I could trust."

That aha moment made Petersen understand that trust in any successful M&A deal is not only important but essential.

"In hindsight, I realized that trust had been an issue in the mergers Workers' had been involved with in the past that didn't happen," said Petersen.

This insight and many others, including best practices on how credit unions can ensure a successful merger and acquisition, were shared during a Credit Union Leadership Forum webinar last Wednesday. Petersen was part of a panel of credit union M&A experts that included Stuart R. Levine, chairman/CEO of Stuart Levine & Associates; Guy Messick, partner for Messick & Lauer, and Shawn Gilfedder, CEO of the $293 million McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union in East Windsor, N.J.

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