Watch out Disney.

After helping DIC Entertainment Corp. break off from Walt Disney Co., Brad Brooks hopes to make DIC the world's largest producer of independent children's programming.

Recently named president of Burbank-based DIC, Brooks wants to expand the company, which already has the second largest catalog of American animation in the world.

It's a process that's already underway.

Among its properties are "Madeline," "Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?" and "Sailor Moon." This season, the company expects to run more than 20 shows on domestic television. New projects include "Super Duper Sumos," "Liberty's Kids" and "MaryKate & Ashley," an animated series based on the twin girls who gained fame on the television series "Full House."

Brooks came to DIC from investment banker Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette in February 2000 to assist in the company's buyout from Disney. Once in place he went on to help restructure the company, bringing in new management and establishing a home-video division.

"I didn't feel (DIC) was being properly exploited when it was part of Disney," Brooks said. "We've really overhauled the company, from an operations point of view."

DIC is in the process of acquiring bankrupt Golden Books Family Entertainment Inc. in a deal valued at $170 million and has signed an exclusive animation distribution deal with Lions Gate Home Entertainment. Both deals were struck last month.

"We really tend to gravitate toward properties that have embedded brand value in them," Brooks said.

Claudia Peschiutta

Banking & Finance

Lawrence R. Johnson has joined Hanking Investment Banking in Los Angeles as managing director. Johnson has experience in investment banking with an emphasis in the areas of manufacturing and consumer products and in the technology, aerospace and telecommunications industries. He previously served as a managing director of the corporate finance practice at Deloitte & Touche.

Mitsugu Serizawa has been appointed senior vice president and manager of the planning office of Manufacturers Bank in Los Angeles. He will be in charge of strategic planning for the bank, which includes determining the optimal customer mix, ongoing evaluation of the bank's target markets and the types of products offered. Serizawa was most recently senior vice president and assistant general manager at Sakura Bank.

Russell T. Sun has been named to head the new downtown Los Angeles commercial banking center for East West Bancorp Inc. He will seek to expand the presence of East West Bank in the local business community with a range of products including trade finance and commercial lending as well as its cash management and commercial deposit services. Sun is a regional vice president and joined East West in January as a result of the acquisition of Prime Bank.

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