Four months after amalgamating to form an 18-branch financial cooperative operating throughout the western Manitoba, members of Vanguard-Catalyst Credit Union have voted in favor of changing the company’s name.
As of Aug. 16, the operation became Fusion Credit Union following a vote among its members the previous evening. The public branding of the institution will not take affect until the end of 2018. The company’s signage and websites will maintain its Vanguard and Catalyst brand until that time.
“Fusion reflects all that we stand for; the coming together of members, staff and communities. It’s about more than just creating a spark and igniting change,” Fusion Credit Union board chair, Guy Huberdeau, said in a press release announcing the rebranding. “Fusion creates tremendous amounts of energy that net only positive returns.”
The new name was determined by a contest conducted among the credit union’s members and staff held between Jan. 8 and Feb. 9, 2018. Members were allowed one entry per share membership with the creator of the winning name receiving $1000. A total of 650 ideas were forwarded, with these whittled down to 50 by the company’s amalgamation committee.
On Aug. 15, 135 Fusion CU members attended meetings hosting a name ratification vote in Dauphin, Rossburn, Hamiota and Roblin.
In November, 2017, members with Vanguard and Catalyst Credit Unions voted in favor of amalgamating their operations, which took affect April 1, 2018. The new operation brought together 30,000 members across 18 branches located from Winnipegosis, Dauphin and Roblin, Man. south to Kenton, Oak Lake and Brandon. The credit union employs more than 170 people and contains assets totaling $1 billion, with more than $800,000 returned in profit sharing to its members.
“Our evolution to Fusion Credit Union is taking place now,” said Ron Hedley, Fusion CU’s chief executive officer. “Internally, we’re aligning our policies and processes and we’re working on member service improvements. Now that we have the name ratified, we will begin developing our brand, website and member tools under the Fusion name.”
When the initiative to amalgamate was first brought to the members last year, Hedley said the merger would allow both the Vanguard and Catalyst operations to develop a partnership they preferred rather than being forced to merge via takeover at a later time. The company also involved a real estate operation, two wealth management outlets and five insurance outlets.
Vanguard Credit Union was originally established in 1987 when credit unions in Foxwarren and Rossburn, Man. merged. At that time, it had branches in Angusville, Birtle, Foxwarren, McAuley, Rossburn, Russell and St. Lazare, thenenveloped operations in Binscarth 11 years later.
Fusion Credit Union has branches in Binscarth, Birtle, Brandon, Dauphin, Ethelbert, Gilbert Plains, Hamiota, Inglis, Kenton, Miniota, Oak Lake, Oak River, Roblin, Rorketon, Rossburn, Russell, St. Lazare and Winnipegosis.