Opus Bank in Irvine, Calif., has reshuffled its mix of branch office locations, as it enters Arizona and expands in the greater Los Angeles and Seattle areas.

The $2.7 billion-asset company plans to open six offices early this year, two each in Arizona, California and Washington state. Opus is also in the process of closing eight branches, some of which were recently acquired, and all of which are located within two miles of another Opus Bank branch.

The moves are designed to better position Opus' geographic footprint and take advantage of recent acquisitions, says Stephen Gordon, chairman and chief executive.

"Our plan is to have bankers up and down the West Coast in all metro areas," Gordon says.

Each new branch will have approximately 2,000 square feet and employ between three and four people, Gordon says.

"It's just a matter of being efficient, given where banking is going," he says. "A lot of clients do still actually want to walk into a branch."

Opus has been an active acquirer. In September, Opus closed on its purchase of 10 Southern California branches from PacWest Bancorp (PACW), including $125.1 million of deposits. That deal followed two acquisitions in 2011, of Fullerton Community Bank and Cascade Bank. Some of the branches that have already closed, or will be closed, were former Fullerton Community or Cascade locations.

The new offices are planned for Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, Ariz.; San Rafael and Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; and Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.

Opus is backed by a group of hedge funds and privat- equity investors, including Elliott Management, Fortress Investment Group and Starwood Capital Group.

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