Merger Strategy 2 – You Wanna Dance with Me?



I used to make fun of movie sequels. I used to shout, “Can’t the folks in Hollywood come up with something new?” I mean did we really need Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo to answer all of those unanswered questions left hanging from the first Breakin’? Maybe it was that “Electric Boogaloo” part that made the big difference. Not seeing either movie, I couldn’t tell you. But now that I live in Los Angeles instead of Chicago I have to be a bit more guarded about my Hollywood criticism. Plus, I have learned that some sequels are just better than the first of the series. For instance I will argue vehemently that Captain America: Civil War is slightly superior to the first two Captain America films.

That’s the case with my second installment on merger strategy. While my article in the June 2016 edition of CU Business Magazine, titled “Merger Strategy: Think Water and Ice,” certainly gave a valuable perspective on the “B” and “C” , i.e. Brand and Culture,  portion of the B+C+S Formula, I felt we didn’t delve far enough into the “S.” After all the second word in the title is “Strategy.” So I took some time to meet with one of my Southern California colleagues, Mike Richards.

3Mike is the CEO of Richards & Associates, CPAs as well as a fellow expert for webinars. He has also been working with credit unions for nearly 40 years. So to say that he’s seen a few things in the industry would probably be an understatement. One of the first things Mike mentioned was that the growth of credit unions peaked in 1969 with over 23,000 financial cooperatives. Today with about 6,000 credit unions that equates to “losing a credit union per day for the past 46 years.”  That is an amazing statistic that I wasn’t aware of, not only the losing-a-credit-union-a-day thing but also the fact that the number peaked the year I was born. Hopefully my birth didn’t cause a domino effect for the industry.

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