SAN DIEGO-Marla Shepard saw the future back in 2008, when, fittingly, she was president and CEO of the then $944-million First Future Credit Union-the need to bulk up to better compete with the big banks.

In April of 2008, shortly after First Future CU and then $907-million California Coast CU announced they were merging, Shepard told Credit Union Journal that at the "last three or four board planning meetings we talked about merging and the need to be bigger. To be competitive in San Diego, a very competitive market, we needed economies of scale to make a difference. For the health of my credit union and my members, a large merger is necessary."

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