M&A Communications Straight from the Experts

Podcast Interview with Rick Hall and Wendi Phillips

Let’s say your bank announces a merger. And let’s say it’s up to you to draft a communications plan for the M&A process. Where should you start? A checklist?

Not according to Rick Hall, managing director of banking financial services at BKM Marketing Associates, and Wendi Phillips, group marketing manager at Arvest Bank. He’s worked through dozens of mergers and acquisitions—most recently with Arvest—and is quick to point out that each one is different. The best plan is “not a checklist of the things you need to do,” he says. “It’s a conversation.” Because banking is all about relationships, and you need to understand who it is you’re talking to—on both the customer and employee side.

Hall and Phillips recently sat down with Shelly Loftin, ABA’s SVP of retail, payments and lending, to talk about best practices—and worst mistakes—in M&A communications.

Phillips notes that Arvest didn’t approach its M&A communications as merely regulatory in nature but as a brand building opportunity.  And once the deal was done? That’s not the end of the story, she insists. “This is when it all begins.” This is when you start onboarding the customers, developing a plan to reach each one, and setting them up to be successful with your bank.

Listen in to find out how they did it.

If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to Shelly Loftin’s interview with Rick Hall and Wendi Phillips.

The interview was recorded at the 2018 ABA Bank Marketing Conference in Baltimore.