Partners Bank of California, a Mission Viejo based firm with $300 million in assets, has hired Chris Walsh as president.

The bank, ranked No. 15 on the Business Journal’s list of OC-based commercial banks, has connections to local hospitals, Walsh said.

“We’re looking to grow.”

Walsh was previously director of banking at Blue Gate Bank, a Costa Mesa bank being sold to Big Poppy Holdings of Santa Rosa, Calif., for an undisclosed price. Blue Gate will change its name to Poppy Bank.

Walsh said he left Blue Gate, ranked No. 17 on the Business Journal’s list, on amicable terms.