Well-known oil industry executive and civic leader Lodwrick Cook has agreed to join the Beverly Hills-based Pacific Capital Group, as a managing director and vice chairman. An announcement is expected this week.

Pacific Capital Group, led by Chairman Gary Winnick, is best known for its effort to take an equity position in the huge Playa Vista project, the proposed Westside office and movie studio complex.

Cook, 69, is chairman emeritus of Los Angeles-based Atlantic Richfield Co., the major integrated oil company. He was chairman of Arco from 1986 to 1995, and began working at the company in 1956.

Active in civic and business affairs, Cook is a former chairman of RLA (Rebuild Los Angeles), and currently sits on the boards of Castle & Cooke Inc., Bank One Louisiana, and CampusLink.

Cook is also on the board of South Park Sports Center, a group devoted to bringing a National Football League-caliber stadium to the South Park section of downtown Los Angeles.

Winnick was a managing director at now-defunct Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., the securities brokerage best known as the former home of junk-bond pioneer Michael Milken.

Winnick was one of the brokerage's first bankers in Los Angeles, joining Milken here in 1978.

Winnick left Drexel and started a predecessor firm to Pacific Capital, known as Pacific Asset Holdings L.P., in 1985, with $30 million of his own capital, other equity from Drexel partners including Milken, and bank and junk bond borrowings reported to be in excess of $1 billion.

Since then, the press-shy Winnick has invested widely, in everything from undersea cables crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the old RB Furniture stores to an insurance company in Switzerland to now, and most famously, the possible Playa Vista deal.

In recent interviews, Winnick has said Milken no longer owns a stake in Pacific Capital.

Pacific Capital's potential co-investor in Playa Vista is Washington, D.C.-based Ullico Inc., an investment arm of a union pension fund.

Neither Winnick nor Cook could be reached last week for comment.

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