Hiway Credit Union members voted to approve the St. Paul-based credit union’s merger with SPIRE Credit Union, allowing for two of Minnesota’s largest credit unions to proceed with joining forces. With 81.2% of Hiway members approving the merger, this paves the way for a newly named and branded combined credit union, which will be the fourth largest in Minnesota. The legal date of the merger is set for January 1, 2024.
Hiway and SPIRE announced the proposed merger earlier in the summer, with both organizations’ Boards of Directors, CEOs, and leadership teams unanimously supporting the partnership, and the NCUA following suit with their approval. Because Hiway will technically be moving into SPIRE’s more expansive community charter, Hiway members were required to approve via majority vote.
“We are excited for the future of our new organization,” said Dave Boden, Hiway Credit Union President/CEO. “Our members, many of whom have been with us for decades, have been incredibly supportive of this merger, and their overwhelmingly favorable vote underscores that they recognize the many advantages of our two strong credit unions becoming one.”
Because both Hiway and SPIRE are financially secure, similar in size, and share many values, the alliance is considered a merger of equals, with a new name and brand to be announced later this year. Hiway and SPIRE will combine their boards and management teams, with SPIRE President/CEO Dan Stoltz taking the role of CEO, and Dave Boden becoming the President. All employees from both credit unions will be retained, and all 26 existing branch locations will remain open.
“Our vision is to build the best credit union in the region,” said Stoltz. “With all the support and enthusiasm we’ve experienced, and all the combined talent and resources, we know that we can get there. This is an exciting time for all of us and for our communities.”
On the legal merger date, Hiway and SPIRE will combine assets, liabilities, and capital, and members will be able to use any of the 26 branches. Other organizational processes and technologies will be integrated throughout 2024.
“We are proud that these two credit unions have worked so well together to get us to this point, and we will continue to prioritize the needs of our members throughout the transition,” said Boden.
Stoltz emphasized that the organizations’ long history of commitment to bettering communities will continue, and, combined, be even stronger. “Combining our dollars and efforts means these two community-focused credit unions will be able to do more to and to have a greater impact on the communities that we serve,” he said.
The new, combined credit union will boast assets of nearly $4 billion, serve approximately 250,000 members, and employ more than 600 people.