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San Diego Trust Bank -- Banking the 'Best of San Diego'

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The landscape of the San Diego community banking scene continues to evolve. New banks continue to be formed, while others are acquired or merged into larger entities. Amid all the noise and rhetoric, one bank in particular has established a notable presence in the marketplace -- not just due to its size or number of branches, but rather simply its consistent, top-tier "performance."

San Diego Trust Bank, founded by Michael Perry, has truly been embraced by the residents and businesses of San Diego County. The bank opened its doors a little less than three years ago, following the most successful initial public offering of any bank in San Diego's history, and has never looked back. Today the bank reports assets in excess of $80 million. But more importantly, it turned profitable after just three full quarters of operations and has reached a level of profitability seldom ever realized by community banks at this stage in their development.

The bank reported profits of $648,000 for the first six months of this year, which represented more than a threefold increase from the prior year. More impressive, this highly respected institution is on track to earn well more than $1 million dollars in just its third year of business.

"Our disciplined approach of developing quality relationships with the 'Best of San Diego' is translating to superior performance on the earnings front and has positioned us for another record year," Perry explained. "We never set out on a quest to be everything to everyone, but rather, take care of a select group of clients who demand the very best from their banker."

The bank's shareholders, along with the investment community, appear to agree wholeheartedly with Perry's approach. Last year, the company was recognized by the California Banker's Association for having achieved the highest stock appreciation of any bank in California in the asset class $50 million to $100 million. The bank also completed a 3 for 2 stock split just 18 months after opening its doors in which each shareholder received one additional share for every two they owned. The bank trades on the over-the-counter bulletin board under the ticker symbol SDBK.

Richard Levenson of Western Financial Corp., a San Diego investment banking firm specializing in community banks is not all that surprised by the company's success to date.

"San Diego Trust has a very talented and experienced team and their performance reflects such," Levenson said. "They have exceeded expectations from day one and continue to execute at a very high level."

When asked what the most fulfilling part of this venture is, Perry responded, "the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated team of professionals and be part of something so special, so unique. We're all having a lot of fun -- what more could you want?"

Judging from the smiles on the faces of the bank's staff, clients and shareholders, not much more.


Submitted by San Diego Trust Bank

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