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Vystar, 121 Credit Union to merge (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal) — Two of the largest credit unions in Jacksonville are merging, VyStar Credit Union and 121 Credit Union announced Thursday morning.

The merger of the largest locally based credit union and the No. 4 credit union is expected to close later this year.

“VyStar and 121 Financial have proudly served Northeast Florida for generations,” VyStar said in an email to customers. “With a combined history of more than 150 years, we are confident that the core values of both organizations will reflect and strengthen our steadfast commitment to the places we call home.”

In a video featuring VyStar President & CEO Brian Wolfburg and 121 President and CEO David Marovich, the pair discuss their shared goals to help better serve the community.

“We have both been fortunate to see our two credit unions thrive,” Marovich said in the video posted to 121’s website. “We’ve enjoyed a long history of giving and helping guide our members towards financial wellness to help improve lives and make the places we live stronger.”

Founded in 1952, VyStar is the 13th-largest credit union in the country by asset size. Once the merger is completed, VyStar will have more than 920,000 members with assets of over $14 billion. 121 Financial has been part of the area’s financial services sector since 1935. It has more than 49,000 members, nearly $680 million in assets, eight branches and 140 employees.

In January, VyStar completed its acquisition of First Coast Federal Credit Union.

VyStar has been growing aggressively over the past several years. In 2017, when Wolfburg took the helm, the organization had about $6.9 billion in assets and 581,000 members.

During Wolfburg’s tenure as CEO, VyStar has grown its membership by about 9% a year, more than double the national credit union growth rate, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. If that growth rate continues, VyStar can expect to double its membership in just over eight years.

As well as recently expanding its field of membership to include Georgia, a few years ago VyStar also received authorization to serve military members from all branches of service, both active and retired, anywhere in the world.