The merger makes a lot of sense at a time when smaller mutual organizations are in decline, said David Christopherson, professor of insurance and risk management at St. Cloud State University. He
said both organizations need to expand their markets in order to survive, and he
said the two mutuals are in a position to make the most of their combined resources and scale.
"I have the highest regard for both companies.They're both shrewd in the sense that they know their niches very well and know how to serve those members."
Further growth will come first among the companies' traditional membership: Lutherans throughout the United States.
Mergers generally raise fears about the often-difficult marriage of two different corporate cultures, and "there will be some awkwardness here, as there always is," Christopherson
"The biggest problem may be keeping the field force loyal and productive at a time when both the parent companies and the marketplace are changing."He
said overlapping sales districts, compensation and sales rules differences may also cause problems.
But in the end, "because of the core similarity in mission and values, this will be one of the simplest combinations you will see," Christopherson