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Hubert - merger with Access CU (Accelerate Financial)
January 27, 2022
5:50 pm
pcs
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For anyone who doesn't know yet, from https://www.sunovacu.ca/the-merger-vote-has-passed/ :

Your Sunova Credit Union Board of Directors is excited to announce a merger with Noventis and Access CUs.
Online voting took place January 25 to 27 and concluded at each organization’s Special Meeting of Members on January 27. At these meetings, a two-thirds majority vote in favour of amalgamating Access, Noventis, and Sunova was announced.
We are pleased to share that the resolution was passed with the following results:
In favour
Access Credit Union 76%
Noventis Credit Union 86%
Sunova Credit Union 74%

Does anyone know whether they quoted in the Members Meeting(s) the actual numbers of votes cast in each CU's ballot ? I'm curious whether the "turnout" was particularly high or low.

January 27, 2022
8:59 pm
Loonie
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I agree, it would be very informative to know the voter turnout.

Noventis had the most to gain, so it's not surprising they voted most strongly in favour.

In my opinion, Sunova/Hubert had the most to lose, so it's also not surprising they had the lowest vote in favour.

Considering that it required a 66.67% "yes" vote, it wasn't exactly a slam dunk on the part of Sunova/Hubert members..

We've had our say. Now, they will have to convince us that it's worth sticking with Hubert in the longer term.

January 28, 2022
10:51 am
Dean
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christinad said

Not a surprise, the merger is going ahead, 75% in favour. (I attended the meeting)  

As expected . But I'm surprised at the high percentages (Access: 76%, Noventis: 86% & Sunova: 74%) in favour ❗

As for what the future will bring to Hubert (Good or Bad) ... time will tell.

Meanwhile, life goes on sf-wink

    Dean

sf-cool " Live Long And Prosper " sf-cool

January 28, 2022
12:02 pm
Loonie
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it might still have been a small perentage of Hubert or even Sunova members who voted in favour.
If 10% of members voted, and 75% of those voted in favour, that's 7.5% of members who voted in favour and a majority who didn't care, didn't bother, or couldn't decide..

The fact that they didn't tell us how many voted may be significant. If memory serves (and it may not), they have about 500 employees, who would likely mostly vote in favour as the deal appears to be good for employees. For all we know, that could have been how they secured the vote and knew they would. I simply don't know. The lack of transparency bothers me, but, then again, I haven't asked for details. The email they sent out about the results didn't even give the percentages.

January 28, 2022
7:21 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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Loonie said
I suppose that if I were a Sunova in-person member, I might find the idea of more branches attractive.
But I'm not and, even if I were, there is no guarantee those branches will survive. I voted No.

Sunova members may not outweigh Hubert people. it really depends on how many bother to vote. If attendance at AGMs is any indicator, it could be very very low. They haven't really done much to promote voting.  

My hope is that the majority of voters were Manitoba branch members.

Last I estimated a several years ago, I estimated Hubert Financial only had between 1,500-2,500 members. That's still sizable, in the context of Sunova Credit Union, and when you consider it's just a virtual branch (in terms of staff complement, though granted they do share the same premises as the Sunova contact centre). Tara's position as Managing Partner of Hubert Financial is equivalent to branch manager, as Managing Partner is what Sunova calls their branch managers. When Hubert started in 2010 or 2011, though, she was the Hubert supervisor (there was no Managing Partner), so that does show how much they've grown to warrant a higher paying managerial position. sf-cool

But yes, I'm particularly interested to know how many members from each credit union voted. There is no minimum threshold required for this; only that two-thirds of those voting must vote in favour.

Cheers,
Doug

January 28, 2022
7:24 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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Loonie said
it might still have been a small perentage of Hubert or even Sunova members who voted in favour.
If 10% of members voted, and 75% of those voted in favour, that's 7.5% of members who voted in favour and a majority who didn't care, didn't bother, or couldn't decide..

The fact that they didn't tell us how many voted may be significant. If memory serves (and it may not), they have about 500 employees, who would likely mostly vote in favour as the deal appears to be good for employees. For all we know, that could have been how they secured the vote and knew they would. I simply don't know. The lack of transparency bothers me, but, then again, I haven't asked for details. The email they sent out about the results didn't even give the percentages.  

Exactly. At a recent Meridian Credit Union AGM a couple years ago, they had something like 5-7% voter turnout. That was considered high for a typical credit union AGM.

Coast Capital Savings' federal credit union continuance vote attracted one of the highest, if not the highest voter turnouts, with somewhere between 50-80% of their ~500,000 members (at the time) casting ballots.

But yes, credit unions are, generally, not known for transparency when it comes to breaking out vote results, sadly. 🙁

Cheers,
Doug

January 31, 2022
4:58 pm
pcs
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So I asked for, and received from both AccessCU and SunovaCU, some details on the voting turnout.

Notes :
- the numbers of members given below are taken from the slides in the Sunova Member's meeting on Jan 18th. To my understanding, the number of members is only a proxy for the number of eligible voters and not an exact or even close match, so it's not worth calculating actual turnout %ages based on membership - suffice to say that turnout was quite low (at least IMHO (:^)).
- the numbers of votes cast are quoted from an email response to my query to AccessCU.
- "%age in favour" are both from those emails and all other reports of results.
- the resulting calculated numbers of votes in favour are approximate because the "%age in favour" figures are given to whole %age.

CU Members Votes cast %age in favour Votes in favour
Access 92,000 3,394 76% ~2,579
Noventis 28,000 941 86% ~ 809
Sunova 49,700 3,016 74% ~2,232
January 31, 2022
5:48 pm
Norman1
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pcs said

- suffice to say that turnout was quite low (at least IMHO (:^)).
- the numbers of votes cast are quoted from an email response to my query to AccessCU.

The turnout was low!

According to the meeting minutes, the April 2021 Bank of Montreal annual general meeting had votes from over 48% of the shares:

ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES

The Chair reviewed additional procedures for the meeting. He then noted that the Bank’s Transfer Agent, Computershare, had informed him that over 315,345,690 votes had been cast or received by proxy from both registered and beneficial shareholders in respect of the matters of business before the meeting, which represented just over 48.7 per cent of the total outstanding shares eligible to be voted.

January 31, 2022
6:33 pm
Loonie
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I don't think there is any realistic comparison with BMO. Major banks all have tons of institutional investors with large numbers of shares who vote in blocks. I don't imagine there are very many individuals who vote there either. Probably even fewer as their votes will not make tiddlywinks of difference.

As for Sunova, it's not surprising. The employees and their families would probably have been enough to swing the vote, given the turnout. A pity.

Sunova did have the highest voter turnout as percent of membership though, by far. I would like to think it's because Hubert members had more on the table, more members cared - and more to lose IMO. Maybe our online discussion helped.

Thanks to pcs for the report.

March 17, 2022
8:32 am
BlueSky
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On whether Access Credit Union will operate in Quebec come July 1, 2022, vague response from Accelerate Financial CSR:

"Thank you for your email. Accelerate Financial has not changed any of our account opening requirements and while the merge is still early stages Accelerate will continue to offer our accounts to Quebec residents."

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