NuVision Credit Union, Denali FCU set for West Coast mega merger

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The West Coast could see a $2.2 billion credit union serving five states by the end of this year as Denali Federal Credit Union and NuVision Credit Union on Monday said they have signed a merger agreement proposing to combine the two organizations.

Denali FCU, headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, has more than $650 million in assets and serves some 73,000 members via branches throughout Alaska and in Kent, Wash. NuVision CU, Huntington Beach, Calif., has assets of approximately $1.6 billion, 92,000 members, and operates 16 branches in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California, plus sites in Arizona and Wyoming.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, NuVision CEO Roger Ballard will become CEO of the combined $2.2 billion organization, while Denali CEO Bob Teachworth will head up all Denali branch operations in the Pacific Northwest.

The federally insured credit union would retain the NuVision charter and name, with current Denali branch locations retaining the Denali name and brand, operating as a division of NuVision. Combined, the credit union would serve 160,000 members with approximately 30 branches in Alaska, Arizona, California, Washington and Wyoming. The new credit union’s board will include volunteers from both organizations.

The merger must still be approved by regulators and Denali members. Assuming all approvals are received, the credit unions estimate the merger will be finalized by the end of 2018, with integration planned for 2019.

“This proposed partnership will merge two independently successful, strong and well-capitalized credit unions to create a significantly larger organization with increased operating efficiencies and an expanded market scope,” the two CUs said in a statement.

“We are excited about our proposed merger partnership with Denali Federal Credit Union,” said NuVision CEO Roger Ballard. “Each credit union is healthy and well-positioned in its respective markets, with shared values and an absolute commitment to serving members. This partnership offers the opportunity to collaborate and leverage our service, support and technology infrastructures to improve our members’ experience. From a long-term strategic perspective, joining forces will enable us to take another important step toward NuVision’s vision of becoming a regional credit union, operating in multiple states across the Western United States. It also will enable us to better serve existing NuVision members in Washington state. Beyond extending our market presence into the Pacific Northwest, the partnership will increase our asset size to bring significant economy of scale and efficiency benefits to our combined credit union. We have great respect for the Denali board, leadership and staff, and look forward to working with them in this opportunity to better serve our collective members and communities.”

Denali CEO Bob Teachworth said, “Merger partnerships have always been an important part of Denali’s long-term strategies to support our growth and service goals. The strength, stability and success of our credit union today is the direct result of the merging of a number of credit unions over the years, partnering together to better serve our collective members. Joining forces with NuVision enables us to expand our branch network into new Western markets to diversify our economic base, provide the resources to make long-term infrastructure and technology investments, and ensure we become much more competitive for the long term. It also will enable us to continue to meet member lending needs at competitive rates while still managing within regulatory limits as well as provide our team members with more opportunities. As two growing credit unions, we are excited to see the potential synergies where we can bring the best of each organization together to better serve our collective members and communities.”

Denali Federal Credit Union, Alaska's third-largest credit union, was formed in 1948 as City of Anchorage Employees FCU. NuVision CU was founded in 1935 to serve employees of Douglas Aircraft Company. It continues to serve aerospace employees from Boeing, employees of Sempra Energy/The Gas Company, and employees of Tesoro.

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