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There are few decisions a credit union leader will be confronted with that have a greater impact than a merger or acquisition. Undoubtedly, M&A decisions will have a lasting effect on a credit union’s membership, employees and the broader community. As with all impactful decisions, a leader may look to data, aligned with strategy, to guide the decision-making and final outcomes. This article will share some important considerations for credit union leaders, as well as some of the data sources that are informative in making this sort of strategic decision.

When a credit union’s leadership – management, in concert with the board of directors – decide that a merger or acquisition is appropriate, the credit union’s place relative to its environment changes. This implies that any merger or acquisition discussion should be framed as a strategic discussion. Regardless of what strategic framework the credit union uses, an M&A proposition and its outcomes present risk. They present a series of unknowns because the credit union is moving outside of its known ­operations. This is where data becomes a critical tool. Data illuminates the unknowns and defines the ill-defined to offer guidance amid the fog of uncertainty.

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