San Diego Endeavor Bank, which received the go-ahead from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to start raising initial capital, plans to close its financing period in mid-December.
The bank, which has said it may open as soon as by year’s end, is in the midst of a critical period as it works to turn promises from supporters into checks it can take to the bank.
The FDIC approved the bank’s organization Oct. 20, with that approval premised on a number of requirements, including that Endeavor’s organizers raise a minimum of $25 million with which to launch the bank.
Its opening would be the first new bank debut in San Diego in nearly a decade. The most recent to open was Vibra Bank, a small bank in Chula Vista, in 2008; it was later acquired by Pacific Commerce Bank of Los Angeles in a stock and cash deal valued at $16 million.
Shortly after the news of the FDIC’s conditional approval for Endeavor was announced, bank President Steven Sefton, formerly of Regents Bank, said Endeavor had already received commitments totaling more than half of its $25 million goal.
“We’re hot and heavy raising capital and having more meetings than we can fit in our calendars and more inquiries we’re responding to than any group of people can manage,” Sefton said. “It’s a complete effort of management team, the board and our advisory board reaching out to our centers of influence and raising awareness, which turns into raising capital.”
The federal agency, in its approval, said the bank may raise up to $27.5 million, plus an additional 10 percent for oversubscriptions.
Endeavor plans to hold a number of events this month to address prospective investors in the public company.
Its supporters include board chairman Matt Rattner, co-founder and president of Karl Strauss Brewing Co.; Gina Champion-Cain, a restaurateur and commercial real estate developer; Julie P. Dubick, formerly chief of staff to then-San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and a partner with H.G. Consulting Group; and philanthropist Joyce Glazer.
CEO Dan Yates, a founder of Regents and most recently CEO of Neighborhood National Bank, said in late November the bank’s executive team was optimistic about how its effort to raise the necessary funds was proceeding.
Beyond those who had backed the bank’s organization prior to regulatory approval, word of mouth has also begun playing a role in the ranks of investors: Yates said he recently began receiving phone calls from people he had never spoken to who had heard the bank was raising money from others they know who have gotten involved.