First PacTrust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: BANC) (“First PacTrust”), the holding company for PacTrust Bank and Beach Business Bank, today announced the appointment of Steven A. Sugarman as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Sugarman, who joined First PacTrust as a Director in November 2010, had been co-CEO since mid-August.
The company also announced the appointment of Robert M. Franko as Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Trust Bank. Mr. Franko continues to also serve as President of First PacTrust and CEO of Beach Business Bank.
The new appointments, effective today, occurred concurrently with the resignation of Gregory A. Mitchell as an officer and director of First PacTrust and its subsidiaries and affiliates. Mr. Mitchell, who joined First PacTrust in November 2010, had been co-CEO with Mr. Sugarman for the last month.
First PacTrust Chairman Timothy R. Chrisman stated, “We are thrilled to have Steven Sugarman and Bob Franko lead our organization forward. Steve has been key to setting and executing our strategic plan over the past two years and has the full support of the Board to lead the next phase of our growth. Bob’s deep commercial banking experience and strong operational excellence has convinced the Board that he is the ideal leader for our banks. He will be focusing on integrating our banking assets into a single commercial bank, thereby realizing numerous financial and strategic synergies. We thank Greg for all his efforts on behalf of First PacTrust.”Mr. Sugarman, who serves as Chairman of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee, said, “Since November 2010, First PacTrust has successfully built and acquired the strategic assets and scale necessary to be Southern California’s bank of choice for entrepreneurs, small business owners and their families. The banks are now approaching $2.2 billion in assets, including our announced acquisition of The Private Bank of California. With the clarity that comes with today’s board actions, First PacTrust will begin the next phase of its strategic plan. This will center on the integration of our assets and operations across our banks into a single, full-service commercial bank with increased profitability, increased capabilities and enhanced systems.”