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City National's longtime chairman, Bram Goldsmith, steps down

September 30, 2013|By E. Scott Reckard
  • Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times (m3zlljpd20120801105404/600/600x410 )

City National Corp.’s 90-year-old chairman, Bram Goldsmith, is stepping down from that role at the Los Angeles financial firm, the parent company of City National Bank.

His son, Russell, will take the chairman’s title as of Tuesday “to ensure continuity,” City National said in a press release.

Russell Goldsmith already is chairman and chief executive of City National Bank and has been the CEO of City National Corp. since 1995.

"I wanted to enjoy the pleasure of handing this over to Russell. He's done an incredibly great job here," Bram Goldsmith said in an interview. The chairman's title, he said, represents "the dignity and the recognition that he should have."

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The elder Goldsmith, who continues to work with clients and colleagues, will remain on the board of directors as chairman emeritus and continue as a member of City National’s executive committee.

He joked that he wouldn't always be around to keep an eye on his son. "Only till I'm 120."

Bram Goldsmith, son-in-law of an early City National chairman, was also a client of the bank in the 1950s and 1960s. Loans from City National financed his Buckeye Construction Co., which built more than 30 office towers in Beverly Hills and downtown Los Angeles.

He was elected to City National’s board of directors in 1964, and was CEO from 1975 to 1995. In that time, City National's assets grew from $600 million to $3.3 billion. They since have increased to $27 billion.

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