Expansion in home finance behind new Umpqua hire

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Umpqua Bank in Portland, Ore., has hired a new head for its homebuilder finance group to help expand its presence in California.

Tom Farrell will oversee the $25.8 billion-asset company’s work with regional homebuilders and developers, Umpqua said Monday. Farrell’s knowledge of the California markets that Umpqua is prioritizing and his relationships along the West Coast should help Umpqua expand its loan portfolio, John Swanson, Umpqua’s head of commercial real estate, said in a press release.

Like many banks, Umpqua pulled back on its construction lending in the aftermath of the financial crisis as it dealt with soured real estate loans. But now it is once again looking to grow in this area. Its residential development loans rose 24%, to $180 million, in the first quarter from a year earlier, it reported.

“Tom has a reputation for rock-solid integrity as a leader and a record of building customer-obsessed teams,” Swanson said. “His leadership will be a tremendous asset as Umpqua builds upon our success in the homebuilder space and continues to expand market presence across our footprint.”

Farrell has more than 30 years of experience in homebuilder and CRE finance. Before joining Umpqua, he worked at Landmark Capital Advisors. Previously he oversaw Bank of America’s homebuilder finance group and helped establish a homebuilder division at Sabal Financial Group.

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