Southwest By Southeast: CorporatesContinue Consolidation

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DALLAS - (04/05/06) -- Southwest Corporate FCU andSoutheast Corporate FCU, Tallahassee, Fla., Tuesday announced theyhave agreed to merge, continuing a consolidation trend that hasshrunk the corporate network from 44 corporates to just 26 over thepast decade. The latest merger will create a corporate serving morethan 1,500 credit unions with more than $14 billion in assets, thesecond largest (outside of U.S. Central CU) behind WesCorp FCU andits $26 billion. Bill Birdwell, president of Southeast CorporateFCU, will be CEO of the combined corporate, which will be based inPlano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. "Anytime you have an opportunitylike this, we're interested," Jody Beck, interim CEO at Southwestsince the departure of Francis Lee to head U.S. Central CU, toldThe Credit Union Journal. "These two corporates bring a lot ofsynergies to the table. They¹re both financially strong andhave similar corporate cultures." The merger must now be approvedby members of Southeast Corporate. At least three other corporatemergers are currently in the works: Empire Corporate FCU (New York)with Mid-States Corporate FCU (Illinois); Corporate America CU(Alabama) with Louisiana Corporate CU; and WesCorp FCU (California)with Volunteer Corporate FCU (Tennessee).

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