Merger talk: A Board perspective
By Bill Murray, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Denali’s Board of Directors has included merger plans as part of our annual strategic plan since 2011. Now, we are in a merger process with Nuvision Credit Union to build a partnership that would create a $2.2-billion credit union serving more than 160,000 members.
Your board did not take this action lightly. Over the years, we have had discussions with credit unions in Alaska, and outside of the state as we worked to find the best fit, and ultimately signed a merger partnership agreement with Nuvision Credit Union because we believe it’s the best, next step to take in our credit union’s growth.
"It makes strategic sense to build a credit union with larger assets and membership. Smaller credit unions (under $1 billion) like Denali will have a harder time in the future to compete in a marketplace facing rapidly-increasing costs of regulatory compliance and medical/health insurance"
Ultimately, the final choice is in your hands. Denali members will have the opportunity to vote on the merger. This vote will take place after our federal regulator, the National Credit Union Administration, completes its review of our merger application. It’s all part of the prescribed process of the regulator toward any credit union merger.
Here are some of the reasons why your board voted to pursue this merger partnership:
- You still retain a voice in running the credit union. Denali board members will have three seats on the continuing credit union’s board of directors. We negotiated this part of our agreement because we want to make sure you are represented in the operations of this credit union.
- It makes strategic sense to build a credit union with larger assets and membership. Smaller credit unions (under $1 billion) like Denali will have a harder time in the future to compete in a marketplace facing rapidly-increasing costs of regulatory compliance and medical/health insurance.
- Like Denali, Nuvision is a financially-sound, well-capitalized credit union. This merger allows the continuing credit union to realize significant economies of scale and efficiency benefits as a larger credit union.
Your board is committed to providing the best value for your ownership stake in this financial cooperative. This merger — long-planned and carefully organized — retains our strength as a positive economic force for good in our communities and for each of our members.
What a merger means to you
By Bob Teachworth, President & CEO
A few months ago, we announced that Denali and Nuvision credit unions had signed a merger partnership agreement. Since that time, both credit unions have been following the prescribed steps of our federal regulator, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), as we proceed through this merger process.
At the end of April, the two credit unions jointly submitted a “Merger Application Package” to NCUA, which is the first step in the process. NCUA will be sending designated staff to each credit union to review the financial and organizational structures of Denali and Nuvision, and determine if they will approve the merger application. With approval of NCUA, the membership of Denali will vote on the merger. (More on that can be found in the Chairman’s message.)
If you would like to find more information on the ongoing merger process, you can visit the Merger Page of our website You can also call the merger info line at 907-339-2510 (toll-free at 800-764-1123, ext. 2510); please provide your contact information on the info line and someone will contact you to answer your questions.
Certainly, change brings some feeling of uncertainty, so I want to reinforce what we are building in this merger to insure your membership interest remains our No. 1 goal:
- The combined credit union will have assets exceeding $2.2 billion.
- Denali’s 15-branch network remains, meaning you will still deal with the same people whom you have come to know and trust as a member. Overall, the continuing credit union features 30 branches in five states: Alaska, Washington, California, Wyoming and Arizona. We also both participate in the CO-OP Shared Branch/Shared ATM networks, giving you no-surcharge account access to more than 5,600 branches and 30,000 ATMs across the U.S.
- We retain the Denali brand in Alaska and Washington.
Denali Federal Credit Union is a well-capitalized credit union, but we realize we needed to expand in the most strategic way possible. This union expands our regional footprint into new western states and offers great potential for continued growth.
We work in an ever-consolidating banking industry. The number of credit unions in the United State has dropped dramatically in the past 20 years — from more than 12,000 to a little more than 5,000 today. Much of this change is due to credit union mergers, as the total assets at credit unions has actually grown. This merger between Denali and Nuvision will enable us to be one of the stronger surviving credit unions, and in a great position to remain as your partner in financial success.
Frequently asked questions about the merger process
Denali Federal Credit Union’s board of directors signed a merger partnership agreement with Nuvision Credit Union earlier in 2018, and the two credit unions are in a long-term process to join forces.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the federal regulator over U.S. credit unions, has established a roadmap for all potential credit union mergers, and we are following that path as we work on this process. The important steps are:
- Both boards sign an agreement to merge (completed);
- Both credit unions submit a merger application package to NCUA (completed);
- NCUA reviews the application package and makes its decision (in progress);
- If NCUA approves, Denali members vote on the merger following NCUA action (awaiting NCUA decision); and
- If approved by both NCUA and Denali’s membership, the credit unions develop a plan to organize under the charter of the continuing credit union.
As you can see, we’re in stage three of the process, and there will still be much more work done in this process. Mergers have always been a part of our growth strategy; indeed, today’s Denali Federal Credit Union is the result of many mergers among Alaska credit unions over the years.
Nuvision shares our member and management philosophies, with top-notch leadership and a similar vision to deliver the very best to members. With Nuvision, we will immediately expand our regional footprint into new western states with great potential for continued growth. Nuvision currently serves members in the state of Washington through its service to employees of Boeing, and has a good understanding of member needs in the Pacific Northwest region. When our Boards began exploring this opportunity, we couldn’t have been more pleased to find even more synergies than we expected between our cultures, goals and organizations.
We know you probably have questions about the merger, and we want to make sure we can answer your questions as completely as possible. To do this, we have established several channels where you can find more information about the merger process:
- You can visit the Merger Page of our website. There, you’ll find a letter from Denali’s Chairman of the Board and our President/CEO. You’ll also find an extensive Frequently Asked Questions document there.
- Denali has established a merger info line, where you can ask questions about the merger, and get a call back from a staff person to answer your questions. Call the info line if you have any questions: 907-339-2510, or toll-free at 800-764-1123, ext. 2510.
Ultimately, you hold the decision in your hands. Denali’s members must approve the merger, following NCUA approval. Keep an eye out in your mail for a copy of the ballot.
Get out of your rental and into your own home
If you’ve been renting and waiting to buy your first home, now is a good time to make your move.
A number of industry analysts predict that interest rates will rise slightly over the year, while continuing to stay very affordable. Home prices are also expected to rise, now that more buyers are again competing for houses for sale.
But rental rates are rising and expected to continue to rise even more— as much as 20 percent in some communities — making it smart and cost-effective for first-time buyers especially to consider home ownership. Real estate website Trulia found it is cheaper to buy than to rent in each of the nation’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas.
If you’re thinking about making the big move, do this now:
- Check your credit reports for accuracy. Go to annualcreditreport.com and request your free credit report. If you find errors or omissions, fix the problems as soon as possible.
- Review your savings. You will need money for a down payment as well as for the transition expenses of moving and setting up a new house. If your savings aren’t up to snuff, make that your priority for the next several months.
- Talk to a Denali Home Loans loan officer about prequalifying for a loan. This is the step just ahead of preapproval — it makes it possible for you to begin shopping for a house with your eyes wide open about what you can really afford. Your loan officer can help you prepare for the home buying process and help you line up your finances for success.
Call today: Alaska: 907-257-1601; Washington: 253-234-6290 or log on to the Denali Home Loans website.
© 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. All other rights reserved.
Make saving for retirement easier
It’s never too early to plan for your retirement. In fact, the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. Use these helpful tips to make retirement as easy as possible.
Max out your 401(k) match. If your employer matches your contributions to your 401(k), see if you can contribute the maximum amount.
Reduce your debt. By reducing your debt now, it’ll be easier to save money for retirement and live comfortably. Start with the smallest balance, reducing that to zero, then focus on the next lowest. It’ll make you feel good and build your confidence to tackle larger debts.
Diversify your retirement income. You may want to consider putting some of your retirement funds in stocks (capital gains tax), some in traditional retirement accounts (regular income tax), and some in Roth accounts (tax-free withdrawals).
Build an emergency fund. This will prevent you from tapping into your retirement funds should a crisis occur. Build a safety net to fall back on when unexpected expenses show up.
Reduce your cost of living. Look at all your expenses and see if there are ways to reduce or eliminate them. Start with small things, like packing your lunch instead of eating out every day. Then work up to bigger changes, like selling your home and buying smaller one.
Know your full retirement age for Social Security. You can begin receiving Social Security benefits at age 62, but you’ll get up to 30 percent more by waiting until your full retirement age. Check the Social Security Administration website for more information.
Finally, this may be the best advice of all: realize that you don’t have to do this all by yourself. The financial advisors at Denali Investment Services can help you create a roadmap to your retirement, and the best way to start is with a no-obligation meeting with an advisor. Go to the Denali Investment Services website to find an advisor and set up an appointment. Today could be the most important day for your future.
Parts of this article © Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice.
Branch closure for Independence Day*
Denali Rally Charity Golf Tournament
Kent Business After Hours
Branch closure for Labor Day*
*Most transactions can be made 24 hours a day via mobile app, at www.denalifcu.org or by calling InTouch 24, our 24-hour Telephone Teller (907-257-7224 in Anchorage, 907-456-1937 in Fairbanks, and 800-764- 1123 option 2, from anywhere else in Alaska or the U. S.).