SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A team that includes some of the Sacramento region’s most experienced business and banking industry veterans is launching Golden Pacific Bancorp (GPB), which will open Sacramento-headquartered Golden Pacific Bank, a proposed federal savings bank, this December as the only startup bank in Northern California for 2008.
The timing of the launch coincides with a financial market meltdown. But what is adversity for existing banks can be opportunity for new ones, say Golden Pacific officials.
“We’re starting with fresh capital, a problem-free balance sheet and a clear sense of direction. The banking landscape will be different after this crisis. To achieve success, it will require experienced leadership, a focus on quality underwriting, and the ability to regain the customer’s trust. That’s the advantage Golden Pacific Bank has as one of the few start-ups entering the marketplace,” said Golden Pacific Bancorp Chief Executive Officer Kirk Dowdell.
Dowdell brings more than 21 years of banking experience to Golden Pacific, most recently as chief executive officer of Western Sierra National Bank. Larry Kurmel will serve as chairman of the board of directors. Kurmel was the chief executive officer of the California Bankers Association (CBA) between 1988 and 1999 before retiring. Prior to joining the CBA, Kurmel was the chief executive officer from 1985 to 1988 with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the nation’s fifth largest public pension fund, which serves over 500,000 active and retired teachers. Roy Malone will serve as president of the bank. Malone has a 17 year history in the banking industry, having spent the previous 11 with Dowdell at Western Sierra National Bank.
“Right now, many banks are preserving their capital, limiting the amount they will lend. This is affecting both small businesses, which rely on credit lines to maintain operations, and homebuyers who are having a hard time obtaining a mortgage,” said Malone. “This creates a great opportunity for us to step in and meet the needs of healthy businesses and qualified consumers.”
GPB will launch a statewide effort to repopulate many of California’s underserved communities with new community banking franchises. Golden Pacific Bank will be the first bank for what will become a statewide network of community-based banks. This will fill a growing void due to large, out-of-state banks buying out California-based banks. In the Sacramento region alone, there are now fewer locally based community banks with a smaller market share than anytime within the past decade.
Golden Pacific Bank will open its headquarters and first branch in downtown Sacramento this December inside the former US Bank Building at 980 Ninth Street. It will operate as a federal savings bank, regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Golden Pacific Bank will engage in traditional mortgage and commercial banking activities with an emphasis on developing business and professional clientele within the greater Sacramento region.
In addition to Kurmel and Dowdell, other GPB board members are: Robert Aguallo, Jr., past general manager of the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System; Richard Claussen, founding partner of Goddard Claussen Strategic Advocacy; Patricia A. Fong Kushida, president and CEO of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce; Brice Harris, chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District; William Hauck, president and CEO of the California Business Roundtable; Robert Kittredge, retired partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers; Donna Lucas, founder of Lucas Public Affairs, a statewide strategic communications firm; Cassandra Walker Pye, senior vice president for APCO Worldwide, a global communications consultancy; Frank Washington, chairman and CEO of media company Tower of Babel LLC; and Allen Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce.
Joining Malone as executive officers of Golden Pacific Bank are Carol Corsetti as chief credit officer, a former vice president of Pacific National Bank in Sacramento; Krista Snelling, CPA, as chief financial officer, previously chief financial officer for Liberty Reverse Mortgage and Hanson McClain, and prior controller of Placer Sierra Bank; Harry Gunsallus as chief information officer, most recently chief information officer with Placer Sierra Bank; Colleen Mahaffey as treasury solutions officer; and Benson Louie as technology solutions manager, who had previously teamed up with Mahaffey to run the corporate cash management California division for Umpqua Bank and Western Sierra National Bank.
GPB will initially focus on growth in Northern California and ultimately intends to expand statewide — not just with branches, but with more locally based affiliates that will be member banks supported by their local communities. Plans call for this expansion to start taking place after the Sacramento-based bank is up and running.
“It is our belief that locally based banks are the institutional glue for their communities. Deposits are invested locally and lending decisions are made locally. This dynamic supports a community’s financial health. Golden Pacific Bank is committed to the long-term health of Sacramento. We know the acquisition of local banks by regional or national banks can have devastating effects on a community’s financial well-being,” Kurmel said.