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The old Benjamin Franklin saying, “if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” rings true even today when credit unions fail to plan for their futures.

For far too many credit unions, especially smaller ones, the failure to adopt and implement a succession plan needlessly exposes them to the whims of outside interests and the potential that a merger is their only option when senior leaders leave. An NCUA analysis found that poor management of succession planning was either a primary or secondary reason for nearly one-third of all credit union consolidations. While the pandemic initially slowed the pace, the number of mergers is now, once again, increasing. And the lack of a succession plan is a primary reason why.

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