Arizona League Plans Merger With Colorado & Wyoming Association

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PHOENIX-The need to achieve greater economies of scale, particularly in a state battered by the economy, helped the Arizona Credit Union League agree to merge with the Credit Union Association of Colorado and Credit Union Association of Wyoming, according to ACUL Chairman Bob Ramirez.

The three associations have signed a letter of intent to merge and are currently working out details of the new organization. The Colorado and Wyoming associations had already been operating under a joint management agreement.

According to Ramirez, also CEO of the $1-billion Vantage West CU in Tucson, the union makes the "best of all of our business models and gives more back to members. The need for a league is as important as ever. The challenge is how best to achieve efficiencies and still provide what credit unions expect from their league."

The departure of Colorado league President John Dill earlier this year also spurred the new agreement, confirmed Ramirez. Scott Earl, president/CEO of the ACUL, will become the CEO of the new association, and Denver will become the headquarters. Small satellite offices will continue to be staffed and maintained in Phoenix and Casper, Wyoming. Earl had previously served as president of the Utah CU League.

What will come of the merger, and what operations may be consolidated, will be determined over the next several months, shared Ramirez. "As we do our due diligence we will determine what is the best of each league and capitalize on those services. Right now it's premature to say."

Ramirez did not rule out headcount reduction and system consolidation.

This latest league merger, Ramirez noted, is a sign more collaboration is needed among state leagues. No timeline has been developed and a membership vote could be scheduled for first quarter next year.

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