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In Southern California, bigger is better. Irvine, California � based lender Commercial Capital Bank and its parent Commercial Capital Bancorp are following that rule to the letter. In the last year, they’ve swallowed up several small financial institutions. To help ease the transition from regional lender to statewide real estate finance player, they appointed Donald Royer III as general counsel. Prior to joining Commercial Capital, Royer, 56, was senior litigation counsel with Santa Ana, California, firm Pite, Duncan and Melmet. The firm’s clientele includes big mortgage and lending names such as Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo Bank. Before joining Pite, Duncan, Royer was GC of Downey Financial Corp., a California holding company that provides savings, loan, and banking services. Royer’s experience with a variety of commercial lenders and real estate finance companies will help as he looks to integrate Commercial Capital’s newest acquisitions into its business structure. Two years ago, Commercial Capital kicked off its merger rush by acquiring mortgage company Hawthorne Financial Corporation. Last year it picked up TIMCOR Exchange Corporation, and just a month before announcing Royer’s hire, it made a bid for Lawyers Asset Management. Both entities specialize in tax-deferred real estate transactions. In March, Commercial Capital expanded its basic banking services by adding Calnet Business Bank. The new acquisitions also open up Northern California markets in San Francisco and Sacramento. With the purchases rolling in, things are looking sunny for Commercial Capital.

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