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Southwest Bridge Corporate begins merger vote this week
PLANO, Texas (1/18/11)--Southwest Bridge Corporate members will have a special member meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss the proposed business model for the future of the corporate--a merger of the corporate into Georgia Corporate FCU--and to begin voting on that model. The meeting will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT to present the business model recommended by the corporate's Member Advisory Council, to provide information about the five alternative business models considered and the pros and cons of each model, and to answer questions, said a notice sent members by Kerry A.S. Parker, chairperson of the council's Executive Committee and CEO of Austin, Texas-based A+ FCU. Members can vote either through a mailed or faxed ballot, which must be received by Jan. 26, or by voting electronically at the special member meeting webinar on Thursday. In the member notice, the corporate noted that "by casting your vote, you are not committing to re-capitalization, or continued use of Southwest Bridge Corporate's Services. The importance of this vote is to determine the level of member support for the Member Advisory Council's recommended business model, which is Business Model 1." Southwest at one time had $9 billion assets, while the former Georgia Central Corporate had $2 billion in assets. Under the merger proposal, Southwest Bridge Corporate members would own and control the consolidated corporate, having eight board seats while Georgia Corporate has one board seat. The new nine-member board would select the CEO of the combined corporate. The merger would require a lower capital investment than historically required, would continue to provide lines of credit, and would maintain access to all the services in the current structure so no conversions would be required for Southwest members. The combined corporate also would provide a one-stop shop for all services and remain the same low cost provider with the same member service. "It will assure strong continuity of services, some economies of scale will be gained, and the model is scalable and efficient, positioning the consolidated corporate for future consolidations with other corporates which will continue to increase economies of scale," said the business model descriptions. The merger could be executed by mid-2011 but requires perpetual contributed capital. Results of the electronic voting and the mail/fax ballot will be announced on Jan. 28.
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