PacWest in California signals CEO succession plan

PacWest Bancorp in Los Angeles, whose chief executive is among the longest-tenured bank leaders in the country, has unveiled a succession plan.

PacWest said late Monday it appointed Paul Taylor president of the company and of its Pacific Western Bank unit, effective July 1. He is currently a director of the company and of the bank.

The $39.2 billion-asset company said in a press release it anticipated Taylor would succeed Matthew Wagner when the current PacWest president and CEO retires at the end of 2023. Wagner has been the company’s CEO for 22 years, overseeing exponential growth fueled by more than a dozen bank acquisitions.

Wagner took the helm in 2000, when the bank had less than $1 billion of assets. The company nearly doubled in size over the past five years alone.

Matthew Wagner, president and CEO of PacWest

Taylor has more than 35 years of experience in the banking industry, most recently serving as president and CEO of Opus Bank until it was acquired in 2020 by fellow Los Angeles-area lender Pacific Premier Bancorp.

“I have known Paul [Taylor] both personally and professionally for over two decades. I have great respect for him as a leader with strategic vision and acumen,” Wagner said in the release. “I look forward to working with him as he steps into this role at PacWest and am confident he will quickly add value because of his strong experience and knowledge of our organization.”

At the end of 2023, PacWest said it anticipated that Wagner would transition to the role of executive chairman of the holding company.

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