Wilshire Bancorp Inc., the Koreatown holding company for Wilshire State Bank, is getting ready to try its hand at raising capital.

The company has filed a shelf registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $100 million in capital through the issuance of new securities, including common stock, preferred stock or warrants. A shelf registration allows a company to prepare to issue securities at one or more undetermined future dates.

Wilshire, which recently acquired the assets of failed Koreatown institution Mirae Bank, said it expects to use the money for multiple purposes, including acquisitions.

“We expect to use the net proceeds from the sale of our securities to fund future acquisitions of banks and other financial institutions, growth capital and for general corporate purposes,” the bank said in its filing.

Chris Stulpin, an analyst for D.A. Davidson & Co. who tracks Wilshire and other local banks, said he expects additional acquisitions among Korean-American banks and Wilshire is in a good position to take advantage of opportunities that arise.

“The Korean-American space is over-banked and consolidation would be healthy,” he said.

Still, Stulpin noted that Wilshire likely will have to contend with some problems in its commercial real estate portfolio in the future and that the raising of capital was likely more of a defensive move.

Recently, a number of local institutions, including East West Bancorp Inc. in Pasadena, have raised capital through stock offerings.

Sharing Blame

When it comes to the epic failure of IndyMac Bank, there is plenty of blame to go around.

A regulatory watchdog last week criticized the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s inactivity in the years leading up to the collapse of the Pasadena thrift.

The FDIC, which oversaw the thrift along with its lead regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, failed to take action until IndyMac was in too deep, according to a report released Sept. 21 by the FDIC Office of the Inspector General.

“FDIC officials consistently concluded that despite its high-risk profile, (IndyMac) posed an ordinary or slightly more than ordinary level of risk to the insurance fund,” the inspector general said in the report. “It was not until August 2007 that the FDIC began to understand the implications that the historic collapse of the credit market and housing slowdown could have on (IndyMac).”

IndyMac, the area’s largest thrift, was seized in July 2008 in a catastrophic failure that cost the FDIC’s insurance fund more than $10 billion.

The report was unusual in that the FDIC was not the lead regulatory agency for IndyMac. The OTS was already chided in a February report from the U.S. Treasury Dept. Inspector General. But the magnitude of the failure led FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair to request a second report.

Slow Start

Shares of Colony Financial Inc. did not generate much interest among investors in their first full day of trading.

The newly formed real estate investment trust completed an initial public offering last week, raising about $250 million with shares priced at $20. Following the IPO, however, shares dipped more than 2 percent to $19.50.

The inauspicious start came after the company was forced to reduce its anticipated offering from $500 million as investor interest in mortgage REITs cooled.

The company, a subsidiary of Tom Barrack’s Century City investment firm Colony Capital LLC, was created to invest in distressed commercial real estate debt. But a recent glut of mortgage REIT IPOs has led a series of subpar offerings.

Like Colony, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, a Calabasas-based REIT that went public in late July, was forced to cut its expectations shortly before its offering.

Yet another local mortgage REIT, Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corp. in Pasadena, has filed for an IPO. It has not announced a date for the offering.

C-Suite News

Convergent Wealth Advisors, a wealth management subsidiary of City National Corp. in downtown Los Angeles, announced that it has hired David Kahn as a director in the firm’s L.A. office. … First California Financial Group Inc., the Westlake Village holding company for First California Bank, has promoted Edmond Sahakian to executive vice president.

Staff reporter Richard Clough can be reached at rclough@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 251.

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