SOURCE: 1st Enterprise Bank

September 19, 2007 03:01 ET

1st Enterprise Bank Arrives in Orange County, California

One of the Fastest Growing de novo Banks in Recent California History Launches Orange County Office

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - September 19, 2007) - 1st Enterprise Bank (OTCBB: FENB) (, an L.A.-headquartered independent commercial bank serving small to mid-sized businesses, opened a new regional office in Irvine, CA on Wednesday, September 5th. The Orange County regional office, located at 17901 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 450, offers a full range of financial services, with special emphasis on bankers providing personal service, sophisticated cash management services and direct access to senior decision-makers.

"We're pleased to be servicing Orange County locally," said Brian Horton, 1st Enterprise Bank's president who has offices in both the Orange County regional office and the Los Angeles headquarters. "Our customers want a banker who understands their business and takes a personal interest in their success. That's what we do everyday at 1st Enterprise Bank. It's rare in banking to have a team like this," he said recently, "that has so many years of experience -- well over 200 years working together as a team -- much of that right here in Orange County."

In the highly competitive field of business banking, 1st Enterprise Bank is emerging as a front-runner amongst its peers. Opened July 3, 2006, its first annual report reported total assets of more than $114 million after its first six months of operations -- a number that exceeded the Bank's own expectations. As of June 30, 2007, which represented one year after opening, the Bank reported total assets of $151 million. "1st Enterprise Bank is one of the fastest growing de novo banks in the history of California community banking," said Edward Carpenter, chairman of Carpenter & Company, one of California's most respected investment banks specializing in California banking.

In fact, 1st Enterprise Bank is the most successful bank in terms of growth of the 23 banks opened in California during 2006 per March 31, 2007, FDIC Call Report data. As of March 31, 2007, 1st Enterprise Bank recorded the highest asset and deposit totals of all 23 banks; in both categories, the bank's figures were nearly double that of the second highest bank.

"[ CEO ] John [ Black ] and [ President ] Brian [ Horton ] chose board members that have experience in starting banks in this area, and they have board members with exceptional clout in both banking and local business communities," said Jim Jones, executive vice president of Carpenter & Company. "We made a strategic decision to seek not only former bankers and high profile 'names' on our board, but to include highly experienced private business owners who have their own spheres of influence in both Los Angeles and Orange County," Black shared recently. The 12-member board includes five current (including Black and Horton) or former bankers and seven business owners and professionals from both counties.

Most recently, the Bank added its 12th board member, Robert J. Kushner, partner in the highly regarded Irvine-based CPA firm, Kushner, Smith, Joanou & Gregson, LLP. Of the seventy-five Bank founders, thirty-six are from Los Angeles, thirty-five are from Orange County and four are from other areas.

President Brian Horton has over 20 years of experience in Orange County and will be leading the growth in the Orange County regional office along with David Plourde, regional vice president, and Matt West, senior vice president. "From very early on, we've made major commitments towards a dual market strategy focused on both Los Angeles and Orange County," Horton stated. "By establishing a footprint here, we're furthering our dedication to the significant number of customers, board members, founders and shareholders in this region." As a long-time resident of Mission Viejo, Mr. Plourde added, "I'm excited to focus my time and energy towards the growth and success of the Orange County business community."

As for the future of 1st Enterprise Bank, "We have every intention of staying on top of new services and technologies to better serve our customers and help their operations run more smoothly and efficiently," Black said. "Over the longer term, and as qualified and experienced bankers become available, we will look to expand our geographic footprint into additional key commercial regions of Southern California."

Founded in 2006, 1st Enterprise Bank is a commercial banking institution whose highly experienced bankers personally serve Southern California entrepreneurial businesses, professional firms, non-profit organizations, and their owners. Headquartered in the heart of the downtown Los Angeles financial district, and with a full service regional office in Orange County, 1st Enterprise Bank offers a full range of financial services, with special emphasis on superior customer service, sophisticated cash management services and direct access to bank decision-makers. Customers work directly with their 1st Enterprise Relationship Banker who understands the unique challenges of the customer's industry, and serves as a sounding board and an active participant in the company's success. For more information on 1st Enterprise Bank, please visit

Forward-Looking Statement:

This news release contains statements that are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about 1st Enterprise Bank's business based, in part, on assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including those described above and the following: 1st Enterprise Bank's timely implementation of new products and services, technological changes, changes in consumer spending and savings habits and other risks discussed from time to time in 1st Enterprise Bank's reports and filings with banking regulatory agencies. In addition, such statements could be affected by general industry and market conditions and growth rates, and general domestic and international economic conditions. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and 1st Enterprise Bank does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.

Contact Information

  • For further information call:
    Brian Horton
    David Plourde
    (949) 399-5000