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Scott Kavanaugh, CEO First Foundation

Scott Kavanaugh, CEO First Foundation

First Foundation Inc. (Nasdaq FFWM), the third-largest bank based in Orange County, said it will move its holding company to the Dallas area in the first half of this year as part of its plans to expand into Texas.

“We will continue to maintain our presence in the markets we currently serve, including existing bank and wealth management headquarters here in Irvine,” Chief Executive Scott Kavanaugh told analysts on a conference call today to discuss fourth quarter results.

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Kavanaugh also told analysts that he is building a home in the Dallas area and he expects it to be completed around April. He also said the company may hold its annual meeting in Dallas in May.

Kavanaugh also said the company may make an acquisition in Texas.

“The Dallas Metroplex is one of the largest markets for multi-family lending and the diversity of businesses there makes it a strong fit for us,” he said. “It also aligns with our strategic goal of expanding in the major markets that present great opportunities for us.”

After the fourth quarter results were announced, shares of First Foundation rose 0.1% to $21.47 and a $958 million market cap. The shares have more than doubled since their 52-week low in March.