Matt Wagner, the chief executive of PacWest Bancorp (PACW), proved this week that he can make a joke as well as he can close a deal.

The head of the Los Angeles company and prolific bank buyer rarely speaks with the media. So his conference call Tuesday to discuss PacWest's agreement to buy CapitalSource — his first conference call in more than a decade as CEO — was a must-listen. It revealed a quick-witted and downright sarcastic banker.

Wagner started the call by telling analysts he knew he would get a hard time about hosting a conference call for the first time. Moments later, he zinged Jim Pieczynski, CapitalSource's CEO, who, in a tongue-twisted moment, referred to his company's buyer as "PacSource."

"By the way, the PacSource comment was not meant to be an announcement of a new name," Wagner said.

A bit later, Wagner was the tongue-tied one.

"We talked early about the board compensation — or board composition, excuse me," Wagner said. "Compensation — we're not going to pay them. Actually, we probably will, but hopefully not that much."

Analysts were not spared, either.

Todd Hagerman of Sterne Agee essentially asked if the companies were downplaying the potential earnings of the combined company.

"Todd, we never like to disappoint," Wagner said.

Julianna Balicka of Keefe Bruyette & Woods asked very detailed questions. Wagner said he should have been taking notes.

"You didn't leave anything out, Julianna," Wagner said. "That was like 11 questions."

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