Icon, Horizon credit unions announce merger plans

| January 31, 2020 1:00 AM

Icon and Horizon credit unions have announced plans to merge.

Horizon Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with roots in eastern Washington, North Idaho and western Montana. Founded in 1947 as a member-owned credit union, Horizon has 19 locations in three states, including branches in Sandpoint and Ponderay.

Headquartered in Boise with nine branches from Boise to La Grande, Ore., Icon Credit Union was chartered in 1952 to serve employees of the Idaho Department of Highways. Decade after decade, Icon’s growth is steady and durable, beginning with a few key employer groups and gradually expanding through the community based on a sterling reputation and commitment to the member experience.

Pending regulatory and member approval, the expanded organization will have combined assets of more than $1.5 billion with 28 branch locations across Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington. If approved, the merger should be complete by the third fiscal quarter.

Unlike a bank buyout, a credit union merger is the result of a collaboration between two credit unions seeking to combine financial resources and expertise. The process is expected to be complete in 2020, pending approvals.

As the fiercely competitive landscape in financial services continues to change markets in Idaho and across the Northwest, the directors and leadership teams of both credit unions sought to create greater value for its combined members, employees and communities, officials with both credit unions said in a press release. Both Icon and Horizon were recognized among the “2019 Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in America,” and have demonstrated continued financial strength and success as independent organizations.

“We are excited to partner with Icon Credit Union in the Treasure Valley and Eastern Oregon communities,” Horizon CEO Jeff Adams, said. “With Connie Miller as the regional president, we look forward to collaborating in creating additional value for the current Icon membership and providing more options for consumers in these communities. Our mission to improve the financial and personal well-being for more people in more places is a perfect complement with the current mission of Icon Credit Union.”

The collaboration gives both Icon and Horizon the best of both worlds, saidMiller, Icon’s president and CEO.

“We have the opportunity to gain the competitive advantage and digital capabilities of a larger organization while maintaining the personal service of a local credit union,” she said. “We’ve built a great credit union. We owe it to our members to continue to build on this strong foundation and ensure that we remain an industry leader for generations to come.”

Icon Board of Directors Chairman Pat Marler said the group was committed to finding a partner that respected Icon’s history and also had a high level of commitment to member satisfaction. He noted that Horizon previously partnered with Icon when its members in Coeur d’Alene transitioned to Horizon in 2013.

Based on this experience, Horizon’s reputation for customer satisfaction and shared core values including a commitment to for members and communities, Horizon was an ideal choice, Icon officials said.

Miller will continue to lead the current market in the new organization as regional president. Jeff Adams, Horizon Credit Union president and CEO, will be the president and CEO of the combined organization. Two members of Icon’s current board of directors will transition to the ongoing board, and no employees at Icon or Horizon will lose their jobs as a result of the merger.

All locations will remain open and both credit unions will continue to serve members as usual at the combined 28 branch locations as they work to fully integrate this year.

“I am excited with how the combined resources and expertise of both organizations will immediately deliver enhanced innovation and convenience to all our members,” Miller said. “I have tremendous respect for the Horizon leadership team, and I look forward to seeing what our combined legacies can achieve together.”