Wine Industry Banker Joins Bank of the West's Premium Wine Group

NAPA, Calif., June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West today announced that Jeff Clark has joined the bank as a Vice President in the Premium Wine Group. In this role, Clark will be responsible for new business development and client management with wineries, grape growers, and wine industry related businesses throughout Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

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"Jeff joins our team with 19 years of experience as a financial services expert to the wine business on the West Coast. His deep knowledge of the wine industry as well as his regional lending expertise will enable him to support our clients in this very specialized sector of the premium wine business," said Adam Beak, senior vice president at Bank of the West and manager of its North Coast Agricultural Banking Center and Premium Wine Group located in Napa, California.

Clark joins a team of eight wine industry and agribusiness bankers in the bank's Premium Wine Group. The specialized group oversees all winery, vineyard and wine industry related business lending for the bank and has a current loan portfolio of $800 million with 275 industry clients. Bank of the West also provides the wine industry with deposit products, cash management, capital markets and foreign exchange and global trade services.

Prior to joining Bank of the West, Clark held positions as a commercial banker focused on the wine industry with several California banks, including most recently Comerica Bank. He has been in the banking industry since 1993, working with middle market commercial businesses in Napa and Sonoma counties. Clark has been a guest speaker for the Wine Industry Symposium, Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, California CPA Education Foundation and Washington Wine Institute.  He currently resides in Sonoma County and, in addition to numerous civic affiliations in the Napa-Sonoma area, also spends time managing his grass-fed beef operation.

Bank of the West was recently ranked as the second largest bank lender to U.S. agriculture, according to an American Bankers Association online ranking of the Top 100 Farm Lenders.  The bank began lending to farmers in 1874 and, today, its Agribusiness Division assists customers throughout the United States with offices strategically located in Western and Midwestern agricultural centers including Napa, Fresno, Corona, Omaha, Des Moines, Sioux Falls and Minneapolis.

About Bank of the West

Founded in 1874, $62.4 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a full range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.

SOURCE Bank of the West



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