Heritage Commerce (HTBK) in San Jose, Calif., has hired a chief operating officer.

Keith Wilton previously served as an  executive vice president at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, which is now owned by UnionBanCal. Before that, he was president of the specialty finance group at Greater Bay Bancorp, which was sold to Wells Fargo (WFC) in 2007.

While at Greater Bay, Wilton oversaw health care, equipment leasing, residential mortgage, and asset-based lending as well as international trade finance and U.S. Small Business Administration lending.

Wilton's "extensive experience in business banking and various specialty finance businesses bring much added expertise to our company and will help take us to the next level," Walt Kaczmarek, Heritage's president and chief executive, said in a Tuesday press release.

The $1.5 billion-asset Heritage did not have a COO prior to Wilton's appointment, according to its web site. Heritage did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Heritage is working to expand in six counties near the San Francisco Bay area, Kaczmarek said at a May 2013 conference.

"We plan on doing that through not only organic growth, but de novo offices when we can find loans teams to join us in those markets, and — if the opportunity arises — M&A activity," Kaczmarek said at the conference.

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