First Financial Northwest (FFNW) in Renton, Wash., is closing down a unit that provides escrow services.

The $902 million-asset company said Friday that it plans to shut down First Financial Diversified, which provides escrow services to First Financial and other customers. The closing is intended to reduce expenses, the company said.

The escrow unit held investments worth $11.8 million as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing. First Financial plans to complete the closing in the third quarter.

First Financial also announced the appointment of Richard Jacobson as chief financial officer, effective Friday. He succeeds Kari Stenslie, who will remain with the company until September 15 to assist with the transition, the company said.

Jacobson, who was named the company's chief administrative and operating officer last month, will retain those roles. He was a consultant to First Financial from 2010 to 2012. Earlier, he was chief executive of Horizon Bank in Bellingham, Wash.

Stenslie has been First Financial's CFO since 2008. She is leaving to pursue other interests, the company said.

First Financial and its bank were freed from enforcement actions with federal regulators in April.

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