Why One Small Corporate Opted To Merge

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With the demand for expensive, high-tech services ever growing and the February departure of its CEO, CorpStar FCU plans to merge with Empire Corporate FCU at the end of this month.

"Probably the biggest reason for our decision is that we are such a small corporate, and our members want more technology and more products and services, and that all costs money," said Ron Peters, chairman of CorpStar and CEO of Midwest Partners FCU. We were looking at the next few years and knew it was just going to get more and more, and since our CEO left, it seemed like a good time to do this."

Peters told The Credit Union Journal that CorpStar looked at every corporate before settling on Empire. "We thought Empire was the best fit," he said. "They provided the resources and the expertise that we were looking for. Geography wasn't part of the decision-making process because with today's technology, that wasn't an issue."

Empire Corporate Federal Credit Union was federally chartered in 1977 and currently provides financial products and services for nearly 1,000 member credit unions, in sixteen states. As of March 31, 2002, Empire had assets totaling $4.5 billion. It maintains its headquarters in Albany, NY, with branch offices in Warwick, RI and Jamesburg, NJ, and will be maintaining an office in Sioux Falls, SD.

CorpStar Federal Credit Union, formerly South Dakota Corporate FCU, was federally chartered in 1978 and currently provides financial products and services for all 62 credit unions in South Dakota. As of March 31, 2002, CorpStar had assets totaling $111.8 million and maintains its headquarters in Sioux Falls, SD.

"The proposed merger will allow member credit unions from both corporates to benefit from a larger corporate that remains competitive through increased economies-of-scale in the ever changing financial services industry," commented Bruce Beaudette, Chair, Empire Corporate FCU. "Merger discussions have taken place in the true spirit of the cooperative principles upon which credit unions were founded."

The merger of the two corporate credit unions requires approval by the National Credit Union Administration Board and a majority vote of CorpStar's member credit unions.

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