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2022 OC 50: Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach

DANIEL WALKER
CEO
FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK OF LONG BEACH

W. HENRY WALKER
PRESIDENT
FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK OF LONG BEACH

Brothers Henry and Dan Walker are the fourth generation of Walkers to work at the bank, which was opened in 1907 by their great-grandfather C.J. Walker. Financial institution, now with 13 branches in OC, reported its OC deposits rose 21% to $4.3 billion, ranking it No. 11 on the Business Journal’s February list of banks with operations here.

THEN: Dan Walker’s first job with the bank was at 14 when he ran the elevator at the institution’s headquarters in Long Beach. Henry Walker took his first job at the bank when he was 16, delivering gingerbread to the branches during the holidays, a family tradition. Both moved up the ranks, working in just about every job at the bank.

“When Henry and I were hired by our grandfather, he told us ‘I expect you to work a half day,’” Dan Walker quipped. “We didn’t realize that was 12 hours.”

NOW: Last year surpassed a major milestone in the banking world—going over $10 billion in assets. Now around $11.5 billion. It ranked near the top 100 in the nation and 15th largest in California as of February. The bank finished 2021 with record high total deposits and net loans, as well as total assets.

FUTURE: F&M continued to go against a banking trend—with three more branches in OC in the works as of earlier this year. “We’d love to expand in Orange County,” Henry Walker said. “We see it as a primary market growth. We have an enormous amount of success here.”

IN THEIR WORDS: At a time when other banks are cutting back their branches in favor of fintech, the Walker brothers believe that young tech savvy kids want to feel safe about their money. “At the end of the day, those same individuals are still stating that they want a relationship, that they be called by a name and that they can call someone by a name that they’re entrusting their funds to,” Dan Walker said. “Bricks-and-mortars are still a requirement for any age of clients. Relationships are the maximum key to our success.”

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