CLARKSVILLE, TN – Fortera Credit Union and Life Credit Union have announced plans to merge in a partnership under which Life Credit Union will operate as a subsidiary of Fortera Credit Union.

Combined, the entity will have $680 million in assets and serve more than 69,000 members in the Nashville, TN, Clarksville, TN, and Hopkinsville, KY, region. The organizations expect to finalize the deal in 2021, subject to regulatory and member approval.

“With the upcoming retirement of Life’s CEO, Pam Tenpenny, we looked to the future with one goal in mind: strengthening our commitment to bring the greatest value and best possible experience to our members and staff. Partnering with Fortera Credit Union offers our members the resources and stability of a premier financial institution while remaining true to our people helping people mission,” said Bubba McIntosh, Chairman of Life Credit Union’s Board of Directors.

A Different Merger Approach

Fortera CEO, Tom Kane, echoed McIntosh’s confidence in the unique partnership which allows Life CU to keep its name and identity.

“Fortera’s merger philosophy is a little different from others and offers an alternative to the traditional merger process. Our relationships reflect the credit union cooperative spirit and seamlessly honors Life Credit Union’s heritage while enhancing its operational and competitive strengths. As a subsidiary of Fortera, Life can maintain its name, staff members, products and services, set their own hours of operation, all while offering added benefits to its membership,” said Kane.

Beyond the value of expanded service and convenience, Life Credit Union members will get a return on their commitment to the credit union.

“We think it’s important to recognize that loyal members are the foundation of a credit union. As entrusted stewards of their money, we believe in providing members with a return on their investment,” said Edward Higgins, Chairman of Fortera’s Board of Directors. Once the merger is finalized, Fortera CU will give back to Life CU members a distribution of the capital they have earned over the years.

Sharing the same core values and culture, both organizations place a high priority on the well-being of their staff members. “Our employees are our most cherished asset. With this transition, finding a partner genuinely committed to caring for and strengthening the opportunities of our team was essential in Life’s decision to partner with Fortera. Together, we will continue cultivating a workplace that values and empowers its employees,” said Tenpenny.

With over $37 million in assets, Life Credit Union was established in 1958 to serve the employees and their families of Baptist Hospital, but expanded its field of membership to include anyone who works in or for the healthcare industry in Middle Tennessee, including the counties of Davidson, Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson. Life Credit Union has grown in its 62-year history to serve the financial needs of over 4,300 members.

Established in 1954, Fortera has expanded from serving the United States Army Base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to a full-service financial cooperative serving Montgomery and Stewart counties in Tennessee, as well as Christian, Trigg, and Todd counties in Kentucky. Headquartered in Clarksville, TN, Fortera has more than 64,000 members worldwide and over $640 million in assets.

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