Hanmi Adds Banking Vet To Its Board

Hanmi Adds Banking Vet To Its Board

Koreatown-based Hanmi Financial Corp., the parent company of Hanmi Bank, has appointed banking executive James Marasco to its board. 

The appointment, which was made late last month, brings the local bank’s board headcount to 10 directors, including both chairmen and the company’s chief executive, Bonnie Lee. 

Marasco transitions from the Los Angeles outlet of Gibraltar Business Capital, an Illinois-based direct lender to middle-market companies. Previously he worked at Century City-based Crescent Capital Group as a strategic advisor.

After a year of substantial loan production — highlighted by a 16% bump in loans for its fourth quarter — the bank may tap his capital markets expertise to grow its loan portfolio, which exceeds $6 billion.

“With decades of experience in commercial lending and a wide array of financial services management, Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding to the board that will enrich our strategic discussions,” said John Ahn, the board’s chair.

This is the first appointment to Hanmi’s board since 2021, when venture capitalist and San Francisco 49ers co-owner Gideon Yu joined. At that time, Yu’s network within the Korean American community was highlighted in his appointment, reflecting the bank’s history as the first Korean American bank.  

The bank, which operates in nine states with 35 branches, reported $7.6 billion in assets in its fiscal-year earnings on Jan. 25. With a slight gain from its assets reported in 2022, Hanmi retained its footing amid a regional banking crisis and in its fourth-quarter earnings reported its first substantial recovery of credit-loss expense in over a year. 

“Our proven strategies continued to drive growth and diversification in our loan portfolio and expansion of our customer base, all against the backdrop of a challenging interest rate environment and the lingering effects of an uncertain economy,” Lee said in the earnings call. 

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