Downtown-based City National Bank announced a transition at the very top of the institution’s hierarchy last week, with long-time Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith set to step down Feb. 1 from that leadership post.

Goldsmith, who has been at City National’s helm for 23 years, will continue to serve as chairman and will be succeeded as chief executive by JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Kelly Coffey.

“I feel really great about this,” Goldsmith said. “I get to stay involved and give up some day-to-day responsibilities and yet be involved ... in larger strategic issues.”

Goldsmith added that Coffey “is at the stage of her career where she will be CEO of City National Bank for a very long time. She has a fabulous management style, and her values fit in superbly and are in sync with our clients.”

Coffey was the chief executive officer of JPMorgan’s U.S. Private Bank, one of the largest private wealth management businesses in the nation.

Coffey, 53, has led the JPMorgan business since 2015 and is responsible for a team of 3,000 people in 34 communities across the United States.

During a 30-year career at JPMorgan and its predecessor, Morgan Guaranty, Coffey held a series of leadership positions in corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions, equity markets, investment banking and private banking.

Coffey will be City National’s fourth chief executive in its 65-year history.

City National was purchased by Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada in 2015 and operates as a subsidiary.

Goldsmith, 68, succeeded his father, Bram, who, as chairman and chief executive, pushed the Beverly Hills bank to more than $1 billion in assets by the late 1970s, and ensconced the institution’s reputation as one of the go-to banks for Hollywood.

Russell Goldsmith joined the company’s board of directors in 1978 and was named chairman and chief executive in 1995. Since then, City National has expanded from 16 offices in Southern California to 72 offices in six states plus Washington, D.C. Its assets have grown from $3 billion in the mid-1990s to nearly $50 billion today.

The bank now employs more than 4,800 and oversees client investment assets of $67 billion. It has been profitable in every quarter for 23 consecutive years – even during the Great Recession when many banks went out of business or were bought out by healthier ones.

Goldsmith said City National has plans to open six or seven new offices over the next 18 months and has added already more than 1,000 new employees since the RBC takeover.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.