Frank Han has left the sober world of banking for a quirkier career: He is starting Etoys, a company that will sell toys through the Internet.
"I'm a huge believer in the Internet," said Mr. Han, who spent four years at Union Bank of California-two of them running its interactive markets department-before departing this month.
Mr. Han and a partner (who is not from the bank) hope to set up a transactional Web site this summer that will make it easy for parents to buy toys, particularly high-end ones.
"Parents don't like going to Toys 'R' Us-we've done focus group testing, and that comes through loud and clear," he said. "When you take kids to toy stores, their eyes light up, they become uncontrollable, and you end up coming away with more than you went in for."
Even within Union Bank, Mr. Han said, he and his "band of thieves" functioned as Internet entrepreneurs, responsible for building the bank's on-line products.
But the transition to true independence makes Mr. Han a tad wistful: "One of the great things about working for a bank is we were able to build a business but we didn't have to starve and we didn't have to do it on a shoestring."
"I hate to lose Frank, but I think it's a sign of the times," said Richard C. Hartnack, the vice chairman to whom Mr. Han reported. "The average age in this industry is 22 and a half and going down," he joked.
Mr. Han is 33; his successor, Heather Robinson, is 30.