First California Financial Group (FCAL) — under pressure from activist investors to find a buyer — hired Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) to explore a sale or other strategic options.

KBW is its financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom its legal counsel in a "strategic review process," the $2 billion-asset Westlake Village, Calif., bank said in a press release Wednesday.

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