SAN FRANCISCO -- Taisuke Shimizu, who guided the nation's biggest Japanese-controlled bank through California's economic slump, is resigning as president, chief executive, and director of Union Bank as of June 16.

The San Francisco-based bank said Wednesday that it has nominated Kanetaka Yoshida, 55, to succeed Mr. Shimizu in the executive posts. Mr. Yoshida, a 31-year veteran of Bank of Tokyo, been vice chairman and chief financial officer of Union Bank since 1990.

Mr. Yoshida's appointment is expected to be formalized at the bank's board meeting on June 16.

Union Bank, which has $16.5 billion of assets, is 70.6% owned by Bank of Tokyo. It is the fourth-biggest bank in California.

A Union spokesman said the departure of Mr. Shimizu, 57, is part of the normal rotation of senior Japanese executives. The executive, a longtime Bank of Tokyo employee, will take an unspecified senior post at the parent bank, the spokesman said.

Mr. Shimizu joined the San Francisco bank in 1988 -- when it was known as California First Bank -- as chief financial officer. He was promoted to chief executive in October 1990, two years after the bank merged with Los Angeles-based Union Bank and adopted the Union name.

Record of Progress

Mr. Shimizu is credited with advancing the integration of the two banks during his tenure. Other highlights of his leadership include the recent purchase of 33 branches of Security Pacific Corp., which BankAmerica Corp. divested when it bought its downstate rival.

Mr. Shimizu also strengthened Union Bank's capital through a $100 million U.S. equity offering this year. Union -- a major commercial real estate lender -- has weathered the Golden State's recession with reduced earnings but no quarterly losses.

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