How Stephen Gordon created Opus Bank to initiate positive change in its communities

Stephen Gordon, chairman, president and CEO, Opus Bank

Stephen Gordon, chairman, president and CEO, Opus Bank

Financial Services


Throughout Stephen Gordon’s distinguished 25-year financial and investment banking career, he’s served in executive leadership positions with rapidly growing and successful financial services firms focusing on investment banking, retail banking and commercial banking.

During the worst economic cycle in decades, Gordon recognized that the lack of available credit and liquidity was severely stifling the growth of small and midsize businesses and entrepreneurs, thereby impeding job growth, business expansion and economic recovery.

At the height of the financial crisis, through his vision, leadership and perseverance, Gordon raised millions of dollars to recapitalize a small bank based in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, which he rebranded as Opus Bank. Gordon, who is chairman, president and CEO of Opus, created a community bank with a clean balance sheet and positioned it to infuse capital funding and liquidity back into its local economies.

In the two years since its recapitalization, Opus Bank has grown tenfold to 54 locations in California and Washington. This success has resulted in Opus Bank becoming the fastest growing bank in the Western region.

The bank’s growth was aided by two rapid follow-on acquisitions and additional capital infusion, which required a clear vision and relentless focus on driving out inefficiencies and redundancies, while maintaining an unfailing focus on the client and the community. This growth has allowed Opus to provide billions of dollars in capital funding through 750 loans to small and midsize commercial businesses, entrepreneurs, real estate investors and professionals.

To achieve Gordon’s vision of returning to the old days of banking, where bankers respected their clients and clients relied on and respected their bankers, Opus has broadened its business lines to include advanced treasury management and payment solutions, fiduciary banking and other highly valued features that deliver efficiencies for clients. These business lines complement the bank’s more traditional business lines: retail banking, residential lending and income property banking.

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