Opus Bank in Irvine, Calif., is establishing a merchant-banking division led by two banking veterans.

The $3 billion-asset bank announced Thursday it has formed Opus Financial Partners to offer advisory, consultative, and transaction services.

The bank, which has 53 branches in California and Seattle, will offer the service to mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and professionals on the West Coast.

Geoff Anfuso and Jason Raefski will lead the division as senior managing directors. Anfuso will lead the bank's institutional syndication efforts, and Raefski will focus on M&A advisory.

Anfuso joins Opus from Wells Fargo (WFC), where he served most recently as senior vice president at for commercial banking in Los Angeles. Raefski has been chief financial officer of Sunwest Bank in Irvine, Calif., before joining Opus.

Raefski and Anfuso will provide merchant-banking services "delivered in a manner that is reminiscent of the old days of banking, when banks and bankers were viewed as trusted partners," said Stephen Gordon, president and chief executive of Opus, in the news release.

In June, Opus hired a co-president and chief operating officer. In May, Opus set up a health care division and agreed to buy four branches from Zions.

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