Press Release

First Foundation Bank Expands Banking Team, Adds New Branch Managers and Enhances Specialty Deposits Team

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ: FFWM), a financial services company with two wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors and First Foundation Bank, announced today the appointments of Shari Aniban, Shawn Katapodis, and Lizandro Escobosa as Vice President, Branch Managers located at the bank’s Las Vegas, Roseville, and El Centro locations, respectively. Additionally, Specialty Deposits has expanded the team with the appointments of Michael Hines as Regional Director of Specialty Deposits and Darlene Esquerra as Senior Vice President, Specialty Deposits Banker.

In her new role, Shari Aniban will lead the team in the Las Vegas office by growing its existing relationships and expanding its footprint across the region. With an emphasis on providing superior client service, Aniban brings years of experience in the banking industry in the Las Vegas market. She most recently served as Vice President, Branch Manager at Pacific Premier Bank where she was responsible for creating operational efficiencies and building client relationships.

As Shawn Katapodis begins his new role in First Foundation’s Roseville office, he will lead the team to expand the client base in the Roseville region and provide banking solutions for all client relationships. Katapodis joins the bank with over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining First Foundation, he served as a Vice President, Branch Manager at both Umpqua Bank and First Bank in the greater Sacramento region.

In his new role as a Vice President, Branch Manager, Lizandro Escobosa will be working with the team in El Centro to manage and grow new and current client relationships as well as providing personalized customer service. He brings with him over 10 years of experience in banking in the Imperial Valley region. Most recently he served as a Vice President, Branch Manager at Wells Fargo Bank.

Michael Hines joins the Specialty Deposits team as the Regional Director of Specialty Deposits. He will be in charge of establishing and maintaining new and existing relationships within the Specialty Deposits market with a focus on clients in the EB-5 industry. Hines has extensive knowledge in the banking industry with over 20 years of experience, with 10 of those years focused on specialty deposits. Prior to joining First Foundation Bank, he was the Senior Vice President, Director Specialty Deposits at both Bank of Hope and Banc of California.

Also joining the Specialty Deposits team is Darlene Esquerra, who will be a Senior Vice President, Specialty Deposits Banker. Darlene will be based out of the Indian Wells office and will work with a range of business organizations to develop relationships and cultivate deposits through strategic partnerships. Darlene joins First Foundation Bank with over 25 years of experience in the banking industry. Most recently Darlene was the Senior Vice President, Institutional Banking Manager & Community Development Officer at Grandpoint Bank.

“I am excited we are adding very talented and experienced team members to our branches and Specialty Deposits team,” said Lindsay Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer of First Foundation Bank. “They each have strong ties to their communities and industries and maintain a strong focus on client service.”

To learn about First Foundation Inc., please visit www.firstfoundationinc.com.

About First Foundation

First Foundation, a financial institution founded in 1990, provides private wealth management, personal banking, and business banking. The Company has offices in California, Nevada, and Hawaii with headquarters in Irvine, California. For more information, please visit www.firstfoundationinc.com.

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Deposit and loan products offered by First Foundation Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #793235.

Investment and Advisory Services provided by First Foundation Advisors, an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. Trust Services and Insurance Services are offered through First Foundation Bank. First Foundation Insurance Services license number #0H38553.

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