Ex-Southland Banker May Head National Mercantile
Chicago banker Donald D. Thornburg is expected to be named chief executive today of National Mercantile Bancorp, a Century City bank holding company whose shareholders include a number of entertainers and some of Hollywood’s most influential people.
Thornburg, 54, was most recently chief executive of Old Kent-Illinois, the Illinois bank owned by Old Kent Financial Corp. in Grand Rapids, Mich.
He will be returning to Southern California banking after a 10-year absence. From 1962 to 1981, Thornburg worked for United California Bank--predecessor of First Interstate Bank--where he was a senior vice president and manager of the U.S. banking division.
Thornburg replaces William T. Hughes, who resigned as president of National Mercantile in September and as chief executive of the banking unit. Unlike Hughes, Thornburg is expected to be given the title of chief executive of the holding company, a position that had been held by Chairman Howard P. Ladd.
As with most banking firms, National Mercantile Bancorp has been plagued by problem real estate loans as the market has softened. In the third quarter, it lost $978,000, contrasted with a profit of $814,000. In July, the bank was subjected to regulatory enforcement actions requiring it to improve its financial condition and improve its credit procedures.
The bank attracted attention in 1989 and 1990 when large stakes in the company were bought by two prominent entertainment industry insiders--one a partnership affiliated with the powerful Creative Artists Agency and the other made up of associates of the business management firm Breslauer, Jacobson, Rutman & Sherman.