First Foundation Makes Senior Leadership Appointments
DEC 12, 2022 - 7:17 am
First Foundation, a financial services company with two wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors and First Foundation Bank, appointed Christopher M. Naghibi executive vice president and chief operating officer of the bank, effective immediately. Naghibi was previously executive vice president and chief credit officer of the bank. Hugo Nuño, who served as chief risk officer since 2012, will serve as executive vice president, chief banking officer, a newly created position, effective immediately. Lillian Gavin, deputy chief credit officer, will immediately assume the role of senior vice president, chief credit officer.
In his role as chief operating officer, Naghibi will continue to have executive oversight of the bank’s credit organization, loan servicing, C&I Lending. He will also assume responsibility for product and online banking operations; depository, specialty, treasury and commercial client service sales; and retail banking.
Naghibi joined First Foundation Bank in Sept. 2007. He previously served as an underwriter, vice president, credit underwriting manager and as senior vice president, credit underwriting manager. Naghibi is also an attorney, licensed in California since 2018 and in Washington since 2021.
“Elevating the positions of Chris and Hugo allows the company to take advantage of its extremely deep bench of talented banking professionals,” Scott F. Kavanaugh, president and CEO of First Foundation, said. “Like many financial services companies, we are actively optimizing our workforce, identifying the right talent for critical positions, and realigning the organization to best execute against our commitments to clients and shareholders.”
Nuño joined the First Foundation in Sept. 2009. He previously served as vice president, compliance manager, senior vice president, retail operations and compliance, chief risk office and as executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief risk officer. Before joining the bank, he served as executive operating officer at Sunwest Bank.
In his role as chief banking officer, Nuño will continue to have executive oversight of risk management, compliance and bank secrecy act and he will oversee central operations services.
Lillian Gavin who has served as senior vice president, deputy chief credit officer since 2017, will immediately assume the role of senior vice president, chief credit officer. Gavin has more 35 years of credit and regulatory experience, performing and managing a full range of credit and regulatory functions, which include overseeing credit quality, mitigating and reporting on credit and regulatory risk exposures and quantifying such exposures through reserving. Gavin will continue to report to Naghibi.
Marsha Vick, senior vice president, director of audit, was appointed senior vice president, chief risk officer. Vick began has more than 25 years of audit and risk experience. She joined First Foundation Bank in 2017 as a risk manager and auditor before being promoted to director of audit in 2022. Vick will continue to report to Nuño.
“I have full confidence that these appointments will greatly benefit the organization,” Scott F. Kavanaugh, president and CEO of First Financial, said. “Their collective business acumen and banking expertise will allow us to maintain a competitive edge and take market share in this current economic environment.”
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