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Eyeing Expansion, CUB Boosts Management Team

California United Bank recently hired Karen Schoenbaum as chief financial officer. Former CFO, Robert Dennen, was appointed to the positions of chief accounting officer and treasurer. And the bank brought-on Bill Nethercott and Kim Defenderfer as regional managers. What’s up with all of the leadership changes and additions? According to the bank’s CEO, David Rainer, CUB’s latest earnings report shows continued growth and financial stability. The Encino-based bank is strengthening its management and executive teams while eyeing the possibility of further expansion. “In terms of bringing on Karen Schoenbaum as CFO, we’ve had prolific growth and we’re achieving our projections,” said Rainer. “Her involvement in strategic growth is key for the bank’s next phase.” Prior to joining CUB, Schoenbaum was interim CFO of Premier Business Bank in Los Angeles, CFO of California National Bank, and CFO and chief information officer of Pacific Century Bank, among other executive positions. Rainer said she has a broad base of experience working with small and large financial institutions, and her appointment is “additive” to CUB’s executive team. She will focus more on strategy, while Dennen will continue to have many of the same responsibilities he held as CFO. “There’s so much going on in the industry right now,” said Rainer, “and there may be strategic opportunities to accelerate the bank’s growth.” Some potential growth accelerators include troubled financial institutions and portfolio opportunities, he added. Nethercott and Defenderfer’s appointments are an effort to strengthen CUB’s geographic presence. The bank has operations in Encino, West Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, South Bay and Westlake Village. Nethercott will head the Encino office and Defenderfer is running the South Bay location. CUB opened the South Bay Commercial Center on September 21. “These are strategic locations,” said Rainer. “They’re located in areas with a high density of middle market businesses. We’re trying to fill all of these gaps and we’re excited where we sit today.” Anne Williams will continue in her dual role as the bank’s chief credit officer and chief operating officer. For the quarter ended Sep. 30, 2009, CUB’s net income was $153,000, up 12.5 percent from $136,000 in Q3 2008. The results were driven by increased interest and fee income and significantly lower interest rates, said the company. Total assets were $461.6 million, a 30.8 percent increase from Q3 2008. Total deposits were $354.4 million, a 56.7 percent increase for the same period. And the bank said its capital ratios exceeded all regulatory requirements for being “well capitalized.” It reported a total risk-based capital ratio of 18.11 percent, Tier I risk based capital ratio of 16.86 percent, and Tier I leverage ratio of 13.27 percent. However, Rainer said CUB experienced its first non-accrual loan and material level of charge-offs in Q3 2009. CUB had no REOs and no loans in foreclosure as of Sept. 30, 2009. But for the quarter it had $1.9 million in non-performing loans (0.75 percent of outstanding loans), and $700,000 in 30+ day delinquencies, compared to $0 in Q3 2008. “We feel really excited that in the tough economy we had one of our best quarters of growth,” said Rainer. “(The quarterly report) reflects the first time in four years that credit issues have emerged. We’re not surprised. I think it reflects the general economy and the fact that many customers are experiencing flat or declining revenues.”

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