PHOENIX - Irvine, Calif.-based Opus Bank has launched a new public finance division to pursue business with municipal issuers along the West Coast.

The bank, which has 56 offices in California, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, announced the new muni practice Tuesday and named Dmitry Semenov as senior managing director and head of public finance.

"Opus has achieved considerable success developing relationships and providing banking deposit products, services, and solutions to local municipalities in and around our footprint and distribution," said Stephen H. Gordon, Opus' president and chief executive officer. "The formation of our new public finance division is a natural synergistic extension of that success."

Before assuming his new role at Opus, Semenov worked as vice president of public finance at Portland, Ore.-based Umpqua Bank. From 2009 to 2011, Semenov served as assistant vice president of commercial real estate with River City Bank, where he managed a commercial real estate loan portfolio, managed work-outs, negotiated financing modifications, and performed in-depth analysis on a portfolio of special credits. Prior to his banking experience, he spent over a decade working in finance and entitlement sectors of the real estate development industry with a focus on delivering public infrastructure and services to new communities. He holds a BA in Economics from the Plekhanov University of Economics in Moscow, Russia, and an MBA from the University of California, Davis.

"Dmitry is a highly-regarded and experienced banker with unique expertise in structuring and delivering financing solutions to municipalities and government entities such as counties, cities, townships, housing authorities, community colleges, charter schools and school districts, as well as other public agencies and entities." Gordon said. "We expect that under Dmitry's leadership, Opus' public finance division will achieve considerable success building and growing its client base as we further leverage our deep banking presence up and down the West Coast."

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