Daily News: October 4, 2017

California Bankers Assoc., Western Independent Bankers Propose Merger

The California Bankers Association (CBA) and Western Independent Bankers (WIB) entered into a merger agreement. The boards of directors from each association separately voted in favor of presenting the merger to member banks for a final vote later this month.

If approved by member banks, WIB will merge into the CBA. The CBA name will change to the Western Bankers Association (WBA) under the leadership of Simone Lagomarsino, the current president and CEO of the CBA. The WBA board of directors will expand to include six additional members who represent banks outside of California from the WIB’s current board. The WIB’s current chairman, David Joves, SVP of the California region for Bank of Guam, will join the WBA executive committee. Both the CBA and WIB names and professional focuses will be retained as divisions of the WBA — CBA for the important state, federal and regulatory advocacy activities, and WIB for conferences and education.

“We intend to preserve the legacies of both associations as we merge, and we will work together to create an even stronger organization that leverages the unique strengths of the CBA and the WIB,” Lagomarsino said. “The WBA will continue to offer WIB’s exceptional educational and peer networking opportunities, and through the CBA brand, we will continue to uphold our reputation as tremendously strong advocates for our members in the California Legislature, the nation’s capital, and with our industry’s state and federal regulatory agencies.”

The WBA will serve nearly 250 members, and have 200 years of experience serving banks in the West.

The WIB’s CEO, Michael Delucchi, will transition to WBA as the senior vice president and executive director of the WIB division. In this role, Delucchi will continue to direct training and educational programs for banks throughout 13 Western states and U.S. territories. The Western states served in addition to California include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

“Changes to the banking landscape occur every day, and this merger will allow the new organization to address and focus on the critical needs facing all our members,” Delucchi said. “The WIB will continue to deliver our dynamic conferences, training seminars and more than 250 webinars, and we will also incorporate the conferences and educational offerings CBA has historically offered.”

WIB and CBA bank members will officially vote on the proposed merger in mid-October. If approved, the associations anticipate the merger will be completed by the end of December 2017 with the two associations consolidating at that time.

CBA’s legal counsel in the transaction was provided by Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips. WIB was advised by Stinson Leonard Street.

Established 126 years ago, the California Bankers Association is one of the largest state banking trade associations in the country.