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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, February 17, 2014, 6:43 am

Banking: Rabobank plans Santa Rosa Third Street branch

Also: Bank of Marin hires Ruth Edwards to head up Napa, Sonoma Valley lending

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    Eric Gneckow, Business Journal Staff ReporterRabobank N.A. is planning to move its Santa Rosa office to a new, 6,000-square-foot branch in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square district this April, raising the lender’s physical profile as it grows its relationships in the North Bay.

    The two-story office on the corner of Third and Davis streets will replace a branch at 90 S. E St., which was the third for Rabobank in the North Bay.

    “Branches in general are getting smaller. But what we concluded is — we don’t need as many branches, but we like more hub-type offices,” said Charles Day, head of the bank’s agriculture lending in the North Bay.

    The location will house around 12 staff, with the regional agriculture team on the second floor and others focused on retail, mortgage and small business lending, he said.

    “As we expand, we’re beefing up our other groups,” he said.

    Based in the Netherlands, Rabobank entered the California market through the acquisition of the Central Coast’s Valley Independent Bank in 2002. With a focus on agriculture lending, the bank has grown steadily in the U.S. and now has nearly 120 branches throughout the state.

    A 2010 acquisition of the one-branch Napa Community Bank gave Rabobank a footprint in the North Bay, where the bank had already operated through a small loan production office in Santa Rosa. A Sonoma branch followed in early 2011.

    The new Santa Rosa branch is scheduled to open on April 28, following the closure of the current branch on April 25.

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    Ruth Edwards

    Ruth Edwards

    Bank of Marin (NASDAQ: BMRC) has hired Napa Valley banker Ruth Edwards to head its commercial banking efforts in Napa and Sonoma Valley, the bank announced.

    Ms. Edwards joins Bank of Marin from Mechanics Bank, where she most recently served as senior vice president and regional manager for the Napa corporate banking office. She has 11 years of commercial lending experience, eight of those at Mechanics Bank.

    “Ruth brings great knowledge of the local market, particularly the wine industry, which will add value and momentum for us in the North Bay,” said Russell Colombo, Bank of Marin’s CEO, in a statement.

    Ms. Edwards has bachelor’s degrees in both biological sciences and political science from University of California, Davis. She serves on the board for Community Action Napa Valley, and has been involved with the Valley of the Moon Boys & Girls Club and United Way.

    She joins Christopher Cappeto and Jeanne Szmidt in the bank’s Napa office. Bank of Marin has been growing its wine industry and related lending in recent years, following the February 2011 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-assisted acquisition of Napa’s Charter Oak Bank.

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    Send items for this column to eric.gneckow@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.

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