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First Foundation Bank reports 30 percent growth

Deposits have increased from $90 million to $282 million, and staffing has tripled in the last three years.

BY CAITLIN ADAMSPublished: January 11, 2011 10:16 AM

Irvine-based First Foundation Bank has been seeing a banner period of growth and investment over the past two years, with deposits increasing by nearly 30 percent, deposits spiking from $90 million to $282 million, loans jumping from $90 million to $315 million, and investments rising from about $1 billion to nearly $1.6 billion.

The number of employees at the bank has also increased – from a staff of just 26 in 2007 to 91 employees.

The 20-year-old financial institution’s ability to navigate troubled economic waters is due in large part to its history as a local bank, headed by CEO Scott Kavanaugh, who in 2007 took over what was then The Keller Group. Under Kavanaugh’s leadership, First Foundation consolidated the firm’s services of investment management, wealth planning, consulting, trust and banking services.

“We decided to go with a common theme under the First Foundation name, giving us stronger recognition across our businesses,” Kavanaugh said. “The growth we’ve had the past couple of years is very encouraging, and the recent hires give us the capability to be more scalable as we get larger.”

Last year was particularly eventful for First Foundation; it opened a new office in Pasadena in July and a third location in La Quinta last month.

“The opening of this office continues the firm’s goal to provide businesses and individuals high-quality banking and financial services delivered with the personal touch that First Foundation is known for in the greater Orange and Los Angeles areas,” Kavanaugh said.

Managing the La Quinta office will be Haddon Libby, a senior vice president and director for the desert region for First Foundation and desert area resident for more than 10 years. Libby has been an active community member, serving on a number of local boards and foundations, including the Palm Springs Film Festival and The Living Desert.

“We are really pleased that Haddon has decided to join our team of highly experienced bankers and that he has a strong connection to the desert community,” said Dave Rahn, president of First Foundation Bank.

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