Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together
is progress; working together is success.” This quote is not only a popular
wedding toast, but also illustrates the importance of working well together
beyond the initial union of companies, groups, or people.
There has been a lot of attention regarding the recent announcements of mergers.
The possible combination of four Colorado credit unions is drawing a lot of
attention as well as the potential merger of two large Washington state credit
unions. However, while mergers generate interest at their engagement, not enough
people are exploring what happens beyond the initial merger’s honeymoon
period. Below is an example of a credit union that has seen success from start
A Union of Two Equals
A little over one year ago Necheshuntsman Credit Union with $137 million in
assets formed through the merger of Neches Credit Union and Huntsman Credit
Union in Port Neches, TX. The deal was a merging of two equals, as each credit
union had assets of $65 million in assets at the time the deal was finalized.
we thought we would get out of the merger we did,” said CEO Jason Landry.
The post merger strategy included keeping all branch locations open and retaining
all employees. Landry felt it was important members could access the same locations
and member service representatives they were accustomed to seeing. In fact,
the credit union has since increased the number of employees by 24 percent.
Knowledge is Power
When asked what really made the merger an overall success, Landry cites the
importance of keeping everyone informed. Necheshuntsman executives met with
all employees to explain the possible impact and what was going to happen next.
Additionally, anytime managers felt that the staff might be breaking down they
would meet as a group to discuss concerns. Landry also said the credit union
makes a point to hold a myriad of activities involving the entire staff. These
activities include a luau party, general training, mock presentations, and other
Landry’s post merger strategy is best summarized by the following quote:
“To make a merger a successful you need your employees behind it; 60-80
percent of the attention should be placed on employees and the board. Everything
else will come together, so focus on the people.”
By creating a cohesive community of the merged staff Necheshuntsman has managed
to make their employees the driving factor of the merger’s overall success.