Merger Advisory Services
graphic of ALM First's Merger Process

Why ALM First?

ALM First prides itself in its independent, holistic advice in advising its financial institution clients through the merger and acquisition process. Our core philosophy revolves around what provides stakeholder value (combined members, employees, communities and boards) while assessing combined balance sheet value enhancement. We help our clients manage risk and create scale to enable greater growth potential through a proactive approach.

As a strategic partner, ALM First understands each financial institutions unique difference, which require a specific mindset when working on strategic growth strategies. From qualitative aspects and quantitative expertise, we provide and facilitate a full merger and acquisitions process to meet your needs.

Want to learn more?

Learn how ALM First's 5 step process can help through your merger process.

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How can each phase help my institution grow?

ALM First has created a 5 phase process to handle your merger from start to finish. That means we can help with the entire process, and have the expertise to handle not only the quantitative analysis, but also the qualitative aspects.

Phase 1 – Preparation

  • The four primary activities in this phase focus on ALM First, educating the Client’s executive management team and board on the merger process, current trends and merger motivation, and ultimately creating a customized strategic merger plan for the Client.
  • ALM First will identify merger candidates through a customized, qualitative, and quantitative questionnaire and analysis to determine fit and focus used to screen potential targets that conform to defined key target prospect criteria.

Phase 2 – Initiation & Structure

  • This phase mainly focuses on the qualitative aspects of a collaboration
  • ALM First will introduce and facilitate meetings with credible merger prospects on behalf of the Client based on Phase 1 results.
  • ALM First will:
    • Initiate and participate in preliminary discussion with prospects to assess their level of interest and commitment to exploring merger discussions
    • Actively facilitate meetings/discussions with a prospective partner(s) to explore a mutually beneficial collaboration
    • Create an initial summary collaborative value proposition assessment/market intelligence report based on the initial vetting and exploring of a possible combination
    • Provide other services as mutually agreed upon to assist the Client in meeting prospective candidates

Phase 3 – Transaction Analysis

  • ALM First will provide guidance and support to the Client’s executive management team and board and Client’s third party professionals (e.g., Client accounting firm) in identifying both quantitative (e.g., financial) and qualitative (e.g., cultural aspects, etc.) factors that may hinder a successful collaboration.
  • Combined ALM Analysis of the combined institution

Phase 4 – Definitive Agreements & Regulatory Approval

  • ALM First will work with Client’s retained legal counsel in completing the definitive merger agreement along with applicable employment agreements.
  • ALM First will conduct an initial analysis to determine, with Client’s legal counsel, whether the merger will require a Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust filing with the Department of Justice / Federal Trade Commission.

Phase 5 – Closing & Integration

  • Closing & Integration is the crucial stage in the process where all the work culminates into communication, member approval, and integration of the two organizations.  This Phase includes five core areas of focus: Communication Planning and execution, Member Vote / Town Hall Meetings, Operational Integration: One-time License for method and tools, Operational Integration: Facilitation, and Technological Integration & Implementation
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Does ALM First perform valuations for institutions that are not financial depositories?

ALM First is experienced with CUSO valuations including such areas as insurance brokerages, FinTech, mortgage banking, and financial consulting.

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What questions should we consider before undertaking a merger?

ALM First has a document of questions useful for institutions to consider ahead of time. A few example questions include:

  • What does it mean to you to be “the surviving entity”?
  • How will your institution integrate different work cultures?
  • Are you willing to give any board seats to the target?

ALM First would be happy to talk through additional considerations and potential opportunities. Contact us today to arrange a call.

Achieving the Right Balance of Investments & Loans


It can be challenging to maintain the right mix of assets for your financial institution, especially during periods of slower loan volume, changing credit risk, and the potential for shifting […]

“ALM First” is a brand name for a financial services business conducted by ALM First Group, LLC (“ALM First”) through its wholly owned subsidiaries: ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC (“ALM First Financial Advisors”); ALM First Advisors, LLC (“ALM First Advisors”); ALM First Analytics, LLC (“ALM First Analytics”); and ALM First Executive Benefits LLC. Investment advisory services are offered through ALM First Financial Advisors, an SEC registered investment adviser with a fiduciary duty that requires it to act in the best interests of clients and to place the interests of clients before its own; however, registration as an investment advisor does not imply any level of skill or training. Moreover, ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC (“ALM First Financial Advisors”), an affiliate of ALM First Group, LLC (“ALM First”), is a separate entity and all investment decisions are made independently by the asset managers at ALM First Financial Advisors. Access to ALM First Financial Advisors is only available to clients pursuant to an Investment Advisory Agreement and acceptance of ALM First Financial Advisors’ Brochure. You are encouraged to read these documents carefully. Balance sheet advisory services are offered through ALM First Advisors. Financial reporting services, loan introduction services, and other special project services are offered through ALM First Analytics. Neither ALM First nor any of its subsidiaries provide legal, tax, or accounting advice.