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Mechanics Bank Appoints Lisa Smith to Head its Brokerage Services Division

RICHMOND, CA, October 30, 2012 —Mechanics Bank has hired Lisa Smith, a veteran investment sales manager whose career has spanned more than two decades, as Vice President and Program Manager, heading Mechanics Investment and Insurance Services. The wholly-owned subsidiary of Mechanics Bank, previously known as Hilltop Investments, now provides an expanded array of investment and advisory services for their clients, with a primary focus on the mass affluent market.

“Lisa’s lengthy experience and track record managing investment advisory groups makes her the ideal person to implement our significant expansion of services and product offerings for investors,” says Kirsten Weisser, Executive Vice President, Wealth Management at Mechanics Bank. “Over the course of the next two years she will hire up to ten experienced investment advisors.”

Ms. Smith is a Bay Area native and Walnut Creek resident who began her investment management career at Dean Witter Reynolds San Francisco in 1989. She has trained and managed large teams of investment advisors at Bank of America, Chase Investment Services and, most recently, Northern Trust.

She graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Managerial Economics.

“Investors with less than $1 million have largely been underserved as traditional investment brokerage houses compete for affluent clients with $1,000,000 or more in investable assets,” says Ms. Smith. “It’s not uncommon to see large national firms actually fire smaller clients they deem unprofitable. As part of one of the most trusted financial institutions in Northern California, Mechanics Investment and Insurance Services has the opportunity to help people navigate one of the most challenging economic periods in the past 60 years. Many individuals left to fend for themselves would love to have a trusted financial partner provide the kind of investment advice and products that would increase their financial security. For us, this is an opportunity to deepen the bank’s client relationships.”

“Many households in the bank’s main footprint could benefit from investment advice, especially retirement planning and products,” Ms.Weisser says. “By providing information, education and planning services, along with an array of products that can balance risk and growth, we can better meet the full range of these clients’ needs.”

Mechanics Investments and Insurance Services will offer investment advisory accounts, along with equities, fixed income, mutual funds, annuities, college savings plans, managed money, financial planning and retirement planning.

About Mechanics Bank

For more than a century, Mechanics Bank has been committed to helping people build prosperous communities as a trusted financial partner, forging lasting relationships through teamwork, respect and integrity. The bank has consistently been recognized as one of the Top 100 Corporate Philanthropists in the Bay Area and one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area. The $3 billion independent bank, headquartered in Richmond, California, offers personal banking, business banking, trust and wealth management services across Northern California. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts

Ms. Hatti Hamlin

Mr. David Louis