IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ: FFWM), a financial services company with two wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors (“FFA”) and First Foundation Bank (“FFB”), announced today its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

“First Foundation experienced another quarter of strong results,” said Scott F. Kavanaugh, CEO. “We have seen significant growth in our wealth management activities, and we continue to grow our loan portfolio while maintaining excellent credit quality.”

Highlights

Financial Results:

  • 2017 first quarter compared to 2016 first quarter:
    • Earnings were $6.1 million, an increase of 61%
    • Earnings per fully diluted share were $0.18, an increase of 50%
    • Net interest income was $26.1 million, an increase of 35%
    • Total revenues (net interest income and noninterest income) were $33.8 million, an increase of 28%
  • Financial ratios:
    • Return on average equity of 8.5% for the quarter
    • Return on average assets of 0.69% for the quarter
    • Efficiency ratio of 73.0% for the quarter
    • Total shareholders’ equity of $292 million, tangible book value of $8.78 per share, and tangible common equity to tangible assets of 7.86%, in each case, as of March 31, 2017

Other Activity:

  • Deposits increased by $354 million for the first quarter
  • Loan originations totaled $382 million for the first quarter
  • Assets under management (“AUM”) at FFA increased by $222 million for the first quarter

“During the first quarter, we experienced a high level of new accounts and strong returns,” stated John Hakopian, President of FFA. “Our steady, organic growth is a result of our commitment to providing exceptional service to our clients.”

Details of Growth

  • Total loans, including loans held for sale, increased $266 million during the first quarter of 2017 as a result of $382 million of originations and $8 million of purchases which were partially offset by the sale of $21 million of multifamily loans and payoffs or scheduled payments of $103 million.
  • The $354 million growth in deposits during the first quarter of 2017 is broken down as follows: $83 million increase in noninterest bearing demand deposits; $85 million increase in interest bearing demand deposits; $63 million increase in money market and savings accounts; and $125 million increase in certificate of deposit accounts.
  • The $222 million growth in AUM during first quarter of 2017 was the result of $152 million of new accounts and $130 million of portfolio gains which were partially offset by terminations of $22 million and net withdrawals of $38 million.

“We continue to experience strong loan and deposit growth,” stated David DePillo, President of FFB. “Our originations in the first quarter were consistent with the first quarter of 2016 and typical of the seasonality experienced in the past.”

About First Foundation

First Foundation, a financial institution founded in 1990, provides personal banking, business banking and private wealth management. The Company has offices in California, Nevada and Hawaii with headquarters in Irvine, California. For more information, please visit www.ff-inc.com .

We have two business segments, “Banking” and “Investment Management and Wealth Planning” (“Wealth Management”). Banking includes the operations of FFB and First Foundation Insurance Services, and Wealth Management includes the operations of FFA. The financial position and operating results of the stand-alone holding company, FFI, are included under the caption “Other” in certain of the tables that follow, along with any consolidation elimination entries.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this news release regarding our expectations and beliefs about our future financial performance and financial condition, as well as trends in our business and markets are “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements often include words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “project,” or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may.” The forward-looking statements in this news release are based on current information and on assumptions that we make about future events and circumstances that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that are often difficult to predict and beyond our control. As a result of those risks and uncertainties, our actual financial results in the future could differ, possibly materially, from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release and could cause us to make changes to our future plans. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk of incurring loan losses, which is an inherent risk of the banking business; the risk that we will not be able to continue our internal growth rate; the risk that we will not be able to access the securitization market on favorable terms or at all; the risk that the economic recovery in the United States will stall or will be adversely affected by domestic or international economic conditions and risks associated with the Federal Reserve Board taking actions with respect to interest rates, any of which could adversely affect our interest income and interest rate margins and, therefore, our future operating results; the risk that the performance of our investment management business or of the equity and bond markets could lead clients to move their funds from or close their investment accounts with us, which would reduce our assets under management and adversely affect our operating results; and risks associated with seeking new client relationships and maintaining existing client relationships. Additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties to which our business and future financial performance are subject is contained in Item 1A, entitled “Risk Factors” in our 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 that we filed with the SEC on March 15, 2017, and other documents we file with the SEC from time to time. We urge readers of this news release to review the Risk Factors section of that Annual Report and the Risk Factors section of other documents we file with the SEC from time to time. Also, our actual financial results in the future may differ from those currently expected due to additional risks and uncertainties of which we are not currently aware or which we do not currently view as, but in the future may become, material to our business or operating results. Due to these and other possible uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, which speak only as of today's date, or to make predictions based solely on historical financial performance. We also disclaim any obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this news release or in the above-referenced 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law or NASDAQ rules.

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