First Federal parent announces merger with Cincinnati mutual

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First Mutual Holding in Lakewood, Ohio, is rolling up another mutual.

First Mutual, the parent of the $2 billion-asset First Federal Lakewood, said in a press release Friday that it will absorb the $56 million-asset Warsaw Federal Savings and Loan Association in Cincinnati. The merger is expected to close in the first quarter.

First Mutual said the affiliation will give Warsaw Federal’s customers access to a wider range of products and services, including residential mortgage and commercial loan options. Warsaw Federal should also benefit from First Mutual’s technology platform and its operational and financial reporting systems.

First Mutual "is dedicated to a singular mission: Helping mutual banks prosper in today's financial climate so they can serve their communities and help them thrive,” Thomas Fraser, the company’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“Our independent banking model enables community banks like Warsaw Federal to affiliate with [First Mutual] to gain economies of scale, expand product and service offerings and realize greater operational efficiencies while still remaining an autonomous mutual bank," Fraser added.

"We had been looking to strategically align with a like-minded partner to enhance the products and services we offer our customers and support our commitment to the community," Richard Flynn, Warsaw Federal’s president, said in the release. "After careful consideration, we determined [First Mutual] was the ideal partner, offering both a closely aligned culture and shared mutual mindset.”

Warsaw Federal will keep its name, charter and management team.

The transaction comes a month after First Mutual agreed to absorb Bluegrass Federal Savings & Loan Association in Paris, Ky.

ProBank Austin and Luse Gorman advised First Mutual. Dinsmore & Shohl advised Warsaw Federal.

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