David Lawrence is to head the private banking group. Joining him from San Francisco-based Unionbancal are Peggy Fahnestock, Carla Furuno-Choy, and Teni Karakas Sarkisian; between them the four have 70 years of banking experience.

The $8 billion-asset City National, which already has private banking operations in Southern California, said the new group will offer high-net-worth clients lines of credit, specialized checking accounts, mortgage loans, and investment products.

City National, which has 54 branches in the Golden State, entered booming Northern California with its $153 million acquisition of San Francisco-based Pacific Bank. That deal closed March 1.

This is not the first time a group of private bankers has departed Unionbancal for City National. In late 1997, Pauline E. Schiff, Jeri A. Karpinski, and Rika Mertens left to join City National's downtown Los Angeles office.

Unionbancal is majority-owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., and its primary subsidiary is Union Bank of California.

City National has also become known for attracting veteran bankers displaced by consolidation.

In recent years, it has brought aboard dozens of bankers from the former First Interstate and Security Pacific and from the post-merger Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. to fill senior posts.

- Matt Andrejczak

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