On December 6, Dallas-based First Foundation Inc., a financial services company with two subsidiaries, First Foundation Bank and First Foundation Advisors, announced that Christopher M. Naghibi, who has served as executive vice president/chief credit officer of the bank since 2014, has been named executive vice president/chief operating officer, effective immediately. Additionally, Hugo Nuño, who has served as chief risk officer since 2012, has been named executive vice president/chief banking officer—a newly created position—effective immediately.
“Elevating the positions of Chris and Hugo allows the company to take advantage of its extremely deep bench of talented banking professionals,” says Scott F. Kavanaugh, president and CEO. “Like many financial services companies, we are actively optimizing our workforce, identifying the right talent for critical positions and realigning the organization to best execute against our commitments to clients and shareholders.”
Naghibi joined First Foundation Bank in 2007. He previously served as underwriter (2007–08), vice president/credit underwriting manager (2008–10) and senior vice president/credit underwriting manager (2010–14) before being named executive vice president/chief credit officer in 2014. He is an attorney, licensed in the State of California since 2018 and in the State of Washington since 2021. He is a real estate broker, licensed in the State of California since 2007. He is also a general building contractor (Class B), licensed in the State of California since 2019.
In his role as chief operating officer, Naghibi will continue to have executive oversight of the bank’s credit organization, loan servicing and commercial and industrial lending. In addition, he will assume responsibility for product and online banking operations; depository, specialty, treasury and commercial client service sales; and retail banking.
Nuño joined First Foundation Bank in 2009. He previously served as vice president/compliance manager (2009–10), senior vice president/retail operations and compliance (2010–12), chief risk officer (2012–14) and executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief risk officer (2014–17). Prior to joining First Foundation Bank, he served as executive operating officer at Sunwest Bank. Past positions also include national compliance manager for Banco Popular North America, director of operations, branch administrator and human resources director for Universal Bank, chief compliance officer for East West Bank and director of training at East West Bank.
In his role as chief banking officer, Nuño will continue to have executive oversight of risk management, compliance and Bank Secrecy Act responsibilities. In addition, he will oversee central operations services.
Lillian Gavin, who has served as senior vice president/deputy chief credit officer since 2017, will immediately assume the role of senior vice president/chief credit officer. She has more than 35 years of credit and regulatory experience, performing and managing a full range of credit and regulatory functions, which include overseeing credit quality, mitigating and reporting on credit and regulatory risk exposures, and quantifying such exposures through reserving.
Marsha Vick, CISA, CRP, CRISC, CICA, senior vice president/director of audit, will assume the role of senior vice president/chief risk officer. She began her banking career in 1987 and has more than 25 years of audit and risk experience. She joined First Foundation Bank in 2017 as risk manager and auditor before being promoted to director of audit earlier this year.
Established in 2007, First Foundation Inc./First Foundation Bank operates locations in Texas, California, Florida, Hawaii and Nevada.