Magazine article American Banker

Calif. Bank CEO Weighing Run for Mayor of San Diego

Magazine article American Banker

Calif. Bank CEO Weighing Run for Mayor of San Diego

Article excerpt

By KLINE, ALAN

The chairman, president, and chief executive officer at San Diego's Bank of Commerce may soon be seeking another title: mayor.

Peter Q. Davis, who has headed the bank since 1977, said this week that he is considering a campaign next year for San Diego's top political post. A native of the city and chairman of its downtown economic development corporation for the last six years, Mr. Davis said this may be the time for a businessman-not a politician-to take charge of California's second- largest city.

"Even in these wonderful economic times, this city with a $1.7 billion budget still runs at a deficit," said Mr. Davis, 58. "Maybe the citizens of this city need it to be run like a business."

The primary election will be held in March 2000. Mr. Davis, a Republican, said, "if I'm going to be a viable candidate," a decision on running would have to be made by midyear.

What impact a mayoral bid would have on $700 million-asset Bank of Commerce is unclear. As a candidate, Mr. Davis would likely have to take a leave of absence from the bank, find a successor, or even put it up for sale. Indeed, he already is fielding calls from stock analysts asking whether the bank is on the market.

Hans Schroeder, an analyst at Hoefer & Arnett in San Francisco, said Bank of Commerce would attract buyers. Founded in 1975, it has evolved into one of the nation's leading originators of Small Business Administration loans, with offices in 11 states. …

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