"succession planning" written on chalkboard with coffee and magnifying glass Source: Shutterstock

Week after week, this very publication reports on the various mergers happening among credit unions and each time I read one my soul dies a little. Many of these credit unions are what we call “boutique” credit unions, which of course can have their resource challenges and are notorious for avoiding risk. I would argue that in some areas they can take more risk.

What I can’t fathom is these credit unions that are merging because they allegedly can’t recruit a CEO or board members. This should be an integral piece of any good strategic plan. Lack of succession planning is one of the biggest risks of all. Yet credit union managers that are trying not to create risk for their institutions – which is why many merge with 20%-plus capital and very few loans on the books – are in fact one of the greatest sources of the risk.

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