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In Brief: February 22, 2008

La Jolla to get new bank

High-profile San Diego real estate tycoon Douglas Manchester has a new venture in the works - a new bank in La Jolla.

Longtime La Jolla banker Rick Mandelbaum is the prospective CEO for the new Manchester banking institution to be named Manchester Financial Bank, N.A. It is to be located at 7825 Fay Ave., Suite 100, in the Merrill Lynch building.

Reportedly, 95 percent of the $20 million needed to capitalize the new bank will be provided by Manchester himself.

“We filed our appliation on Jan. 4, 2008,” said Mandelbaum. “We will be a national bank.”

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Mandelbaum said it typically takes three to five months to open the bank Manchester is contemplating, which puts the grand opening date sometime this summer.

Manchester Financial Bank, N.A. will be full service. Said Mandelbaum: “Our plan is to have more expertise on the buinsess side. We’ll have a full gamut of products and services.”

A consultant to Manchester, Mandelbaum has a great deal of experience in the boutique banking industry in La Jolla. He previously was with Regents Bank, which started in La Jolla and was bought out by UTC-based First Pacific Bank in July 2007.

Mandelbaum talked about the genesis of Manchester Financial. “I sat down in August (2007) with Manchester and his executive team and we hit it off,” Mandelbaum said. “We said, ‘This will be a good team, let’s move forward.’ And, we are.”

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Mandelbaum added the new bank will have the advantage of being under the umbrella of the Manchester Financial Group, which is primarily involved in the hospitality industry, owning the Manchester Grand Hyatt, The Grand Del Mar and the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.

“He (Manchester) brings a circle of influence, not only from the standpoint of the facilities he owns,” said Mandelbaum, “but with all the suppliers, general contractors and friends he has developed over the years. A lot of these people will be sources of business for the bank.”

One of the bank’s new directors will be Dick Freeman, president of the San Diego Padres.

The new bank’s proposed location in the Merrill Lynch building was previously the site of Commercial Capital, which merged with Washington Mutual. Mandelbaum said a lot of banking equipment has been acquired by Manchester from Commercial Capital. “We have teller lines, the vault, the safe deposit box, the ATM machine and all the furniture,” he said. “We purchased all the equipment that was here and are subleasing from Washington Mutual.”

Town Council swears in trustees

At its regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 14th, the La Jolla Town Council welcomed three new trustees. Former San Diego County Assemblyman Howard Wayne swore in the three, who will serve two-year terms.

The council is an all-volunteer group of community residents who want to give back to the community. The Town Council has 24 trustees and seven vacancies in trustee positions.

The new trustees are Cristull Hasson, business entrepreneur and community activist, already a board member on a variety of philanthropic organizations in the San Diego community; John Donaldson, partner with the San Diego Merrill Lynch group and community resident with a longstanding interest in the Town Council; and John Michaelsen, CEO of Capital Growth Properties and longtime La Jolla resident who recently decided to become more active in the community.

After they took the oath of office, they were seated at the Town Council table to begin participation as Town Council Trustees.

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Those interested in serving on the council are asked to contact the La Jolla Town Council office at 7734 Herschel St., (858) 454-1444, for an application packet.