SSPC, NACE Share Discussion Updates


Late last week, SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and NACE International, The Corrosion Society  announced an update regarding their possible merger.

The update comes as the first in a series of notices—scheduled out until Feb. 12—and involves the overview and process of discussions and decision making.

Exploratory Talks

SSPC, founded in 1950 as the Steel Structures Painting Council, is focused on the use of protective coatings in the industry. SSPC’s name was changed in 1997 to mark progress in coatings technology, as well as the addition of new types of construction materials. SSPC is based in Pittsburgh, and has offices in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and China. Currently, more than 16,000 professionals and 420 companies across the globe carry SSPC certifications.

NACE, founded in 1943 and now with more than 38,000 members in 130 countries, is the world’s largest nonprofit of its kind, according to the organization. NACE is based in Houston, with other offices across the U.S., the U.K., China, Malaysia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, as well as a training center in Dubai. Membership with NACE includes specified technical training and certification programs, industry standards, reports, conferences and publications focused on corrosion prevention and mitigation.

In March, the two organizations announced the beginning of merger talks. The following month, PaintSquare Daily News took a closer look at each organization’s history, structure and offerings for the protective coatings and corrosion control industries.

On Aug. 6, the organizations announced the mutual decision to bring McKinley Advisors on board as a guiding entity for the two organizations’ merger discussions.

McKinley Advisors, serving as an independent third party, was chosen for its established success in advising other organizations through similar talks. McKinley will also advise through considerations related to strategic, financial and cultural barriers, among others.

By October, the reestablished Pittsburgh-based SSPC Steel City Chapter hosted a meeting, announcing that on Oct. 29, a NACE board meeting with the McKinley CEO and two SSPC board members was expected to take place in Asheville, North Carolina. The merger task group was also reported to be planning to schedule additional face-to-face meetings later this year or by January 2020.

Later that same month, joint staff and members of the leadership task group from both SSPC and NACE reconvened to continue possible merger conversations. The meeting reportedly focused on the research and analysis conducted by McKinley Advisors on the potential challenges the organizations would face regarding blending financial structures, cultures, memberships and other components.

Out of 50 interviews—25 NACE and 25 SSPC designated individuals—McKinley reported that leading stakeholder concerns lied with the potential loss of relevance or voice in a larger organization, as well as whether all certifications of both organizations would continue to be recognized and supported.

Moving forward, the organizations have announced that both existing brands will continue to be protected as sperate entities in the marketplace and have agreed that the best model will involve a hybrid structure that includes both corporate and individual membership options and combines the best of both organizations’ value propositions.

What’s Happening Now

As 2020 kicks off, NACE reports that the Board of Directors of each is reviewing information created by the task group on how a combined association could look and function.

Although more information is slated to be shared in the coming weeks with memberships of both associations, members are asks to share their opinions about the discussions either through email, comment or through participation in the Town Hall meetings that both organizations will be hosting that the upcoming Coatings+2020 conference in Long Beach, California, next month, and the CORROSION 2020 conference in Houston this March.

Until then, the ongoing update schedule is as follows:

  • Update No. 2 – Jan. 15 - Certification Considerations Q&A;
  • Update No. 3 – Jan. 22 - Membership Considerations Q&As;
  • Update No. 4 – Jan. 29 - Standards and Committees Considerations Q&As;
  • Update No. 5 – Feb. 5 - SSPC Board Vote and Annual Conference Update;
  • Update No. 6 – Feb. 12 - Next Steps in the Discussion Process; and
  • Additional updates have yet to be added.

NACE has also provided a timeline of upcoming discussion-related milestones:

  • Jan. 10 - Task Force Meetings;
  • Feb. 2 - SSPC Board of Governors Meeting;
  • Feb. 3-5 - SSPC hosts Town Hall meetings at Coatings+2020 in Long Beach, California;
  • Feb. 24 - NACE Board of Directors holds update meeting;
  • Mar. 14 - NACE Board of Directors Meeting; and
  • Mar. 16-18 - NACE hosts Town Hall meetings at CORROSION 2020 in Houston.

The next scheduled update is slated to be posted on Jan. 15 involving the associations certification considerations which will involve a questions and answers segment.


Tagged categories: Acquisitions; Asia Pacific; Business management; Business matters; Business operations; Corrosion; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; Mergers; NACE; NACE; North America; Program/Project Management; SSPC; SSPC Coatings+ 2020; SSPC NACE Merger; Z-Continents

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.