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Thursday, Feb 9, 2023
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Landmark Bank CEO Steps Down

Longtime local banker Ron Carlson retired as chairman and chief executive officer of Solana Beach-based Landmark National Bank, and was replaced by Rick Mandlebaum as CEO, the bank announced.

Mandlebaum, 58, already held the title of president and has been Landmark’s chief operating officer and chief credit officer. He also held senior executive positions at Scripps Bank, Escondido National Bank, and First Pacific National Bank.

James J. Schmid, 58, a member of Landmark’s board of directors, takes over as its chairman, while Vincent Benstead, another director, is vice chairman.

Carlson, 70, put in 45 years in the banking industry and was involved with the startup of three other San Diego community banks besides Landmark National. In 1973, he helped found and was president of La Jolla Bank & Trust. He also was CEO and a founder of the Bank of Rancho Bernardo in 1981 and Scripps Bank in 1983.

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Landmark National has struggled since its opening in August 2002. The bank closed its $8.5 million acquisition of Legacy Bank in July, a deal that regulators approved despite the fact that both recently opened banks were losing money when the banks signed a definitive agreement in April. But Legacy, which held only about $35 million in assets then, was losing more and was operating without a president for more than a year.

For the third quarter, Landmark, now with about $125 million in assets, posted $6,000 in net income, compared to last year’s third quarter net loss of $363,000. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the bank reported a net income of $82,000, compared to a net loss of $1.4 million for the same period of 2004.

Total loans at the bank increased 105 percent to $92.3 million from the prior year’s third quarter, while deposits rose 83 percent to $101.3 million.

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