Magazine article American Banker

New Chairman to Steer a Calif. Bank's Expansion

Magazine article American Banker

New Chairman to Steer a Calif. Bank's Expansion

Article excerpt


In 1993, Heritage Commerce Corp. sought Brad L. Smith's advice on starting a bank. This month the fast-growing San Jose, Calif., banking company named Mr.

Smith chairman.

Mr. Smith, who helped found South Valley National Bank in 1982, will spearhead Heritage's expansion efforts in the Bay Area. He is also the new president and chief executive officer of Heritage's soon-to-open bank subsidiary in the booming South Valley, his old stomping ground.

These new responsibilities end Mr. Smith's brief sabbatical from banking.

He resigned as president and CEO of South Valley National two months ago. The bank's parent, Salinas, Calif.-based Pacific Capital Corp., was sold in December to Santa Barbara (Calif.) Bancorp.

Frustrated that he was not involved in strategic planning or policy decisions at Pacific Capital, and worried his role would only be diminished at Santa Barbara, Mr. Smith left shortly before the merger's completion.

"There were personal objectives I couldn't pursue professionally at South Valley," said Mr. Smith, who stayed on at the bank after it was first sold to Pacific Capital in 1996. "I've watched Heritage grow, and what they're doing is interesting."

Heritage, parent of Heritage Bank of Commerce, is shooting to become the Bay Area's next super community bank.

Organized in 1994, $400 million-asset Heritage has quadrupled its assets in four years and raised $26 million in capital through three public offerings. …

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