Biz Buzz: Heritage Oaks president to retire at year’s end

Larry Ward, president and chief executive officer of Paso Robles-based Heritage Oaks Bank, has announced that he plans to retire at the end of this year.

Ward will continue on the company’s board of directors after retirement. The bank is searching for a successor.

Ward said in his announcement that he is looking forward to retirement after a long banking career.

During Ward’s leadership, the company has grown to a “$1 billion bank and the leading community bank on the Central Coast,” said Michael J. Morris, chairman of the company and bank.

The bank recently announced another change to its top management team. Thomas Tolda has joined the bank as its executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Tolda, who has 25 years of banking experience, was executive vice president and CFO of East West Bank in Southern California. He was also executive vice president and CFO for the Consumer Credit Group at Wells Fargo & Co.

Heritage Oaks Bancorp reported a net loss of $10.9 million in the third quarter of last year, compared with net losses of $5.8 million for the second quarter of last year and $5.2 million in the third quarter of 2009.

As of Sept. 30 of this year, the bank had about $990 million in total assets, about $20 million less than reported at June 30 last year.

Heritage Oaks Bancorp is the parent company of Heritage Oaks Bank, which operates as Heritage Oaks Bank and Business First, a division of Heritage Oaks Bank.

The bank’s headquarters is in Paso Robles. It has one branch office there, two offices in San Luis Obispo, single branch offices in Arroyo Grande, Cambria, Templeton, Atascadero, San Miguel and Morro Bay and three branch offices in Santa Maria.

— Julie Lynem