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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, February 20, 2012, 6:20 am

Bank of Marin digs deeper into wine

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    Russ Colombo, Kevin Coonan

    Russ Colombo, Kevin Coonan

    NOVATO — Bank of Marin is making a determined effort to extend the wine-related expertise of its commercial lending team into the industry with expansions into Napa and Sonoma counties over the past 12 months.

    The Novato-based community bank now has five of its 15 commercial bankers focused on the wine business. Cotati-based Planet One Products, which acquired International Wine Accessories from Vintage Wines Estates in January, is a new addition to the institution’s wine industry client list of about a dozen wineries and a number of feeder businesses such as warehousing, bulk storage, corks, barrels and bottles.

    “The bank has not been in the industry that long, but the people here have a lot experience,” said Russ Colombo, Bank of Marin president and CEO. “An organization of our size is well-suited to serve the wine industry and the often smaller businesses that serve that industry.”

    Mr. Colombo serviced wine clients while at Union Bank and Comerica. Bank of Marin Chief Credit Officer Kevin Coonan also worked with wine clients at Comerica, and he had been part of Bank of America’s wine team in Santa Rosa and St. Helena.

    Other key wine lenders are Santa Rosa-based David Brown, who came from Exchange Bank, and 35-year Napa Valley banking veteran Kathi Metro, who leads commercial banking there after the February 2011 acquisition of Charter Oak Bank in Napa.

    “It gave us a base in Napa to work from,” Mr. Coonan said.

    Incorporated in 1989, Bank of Marin has 17 offices in Marin, San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma counties. At the end of last year, the bank had $1.39 billion in assets and $175.8 million in commercial and industrial loans, up 14.3 percent from 2010.

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