Press release

First Foundation Inc. Announces Strategic Investment in Institutional Bitcoin Provider NYDIG

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First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ: FFWM), a financial services company with two wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors and First Foundation Bank, today announced it has made a strategic investment in NYDIG, a leading provider of technology and investment solutions for Bitcoin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two companies also announced a strategic partnership that will allow First Foundation and NYDIG to collaborate on connecting the infrastructure and technologies necessary to provide First Foundation clients with efficient and secure access to Bitcoin-related financial products and services within the traditional banking network.

“We believe digital assets are an important part of the future landscape of financial services and we are pleased to be a part of its evolution as we seek to serve the growing needs of our clients,” said Scott F. Kavanaugh, CEO of First Foundation Inc. “NYDIG is at the forefront of the industry from a regulatory and security perspective which makes them the perfect partner as we seek to help bring Bitcoin solutions into the mainstream. Today’s announcement marks an important step towards establishing ourselves as one of the first Bitcoin-friendly regional banks in the country.”

This Bitcoin-focused partnership is the first of its kind. Regional and community banks have historically not participated in this evolving aspect of financial services. Through its work with NYDIG, First Foundation hopes to establish itself as a key resource for clients wanting to access and use digital assets.

“First Foundation’s grasp of the fast-evolving financial landscape is a model for all banks,” said Patrick Sells, Head of Bank Solutions for NYDIG. “They understand that Bitcoin is not only mainstream but a critical component of the future of finance and that banks must be able to holistically serve both their customers’ fiat and Bitcoin needs. First Foundation’s investment in NYDIG is a testament to their commitment to Bitcoin and to the strength of the partnership.”

In addition to the partnership with NYDIG, First Foundation Bank will be working with its core processing provider Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV) to integrate Bitcoin into its existing banking environment. Fiserv will help bring a seamless digital experience to First Foundation customers by integrating NYDIG into the bank’s core platform and digital banking offering, enabling customers to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin.

“Cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, is an emerging asset class that is piquing more mainstream consumer interest,” said Byron Vielehr, Chief Digital and Data Officer at Fiserv. “First Foundation is ahead of the curve in providing customers with simple, integrated management of traditional and cryptocurrency via their existing digital banking accounts.”

“Being able to work with NYDIG while having the full support of Fiserv to enable the integration is incredibly valuable,” said Lindsay Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer of First Foundation Bank. “Fiserv is an important partner in everything we do at our bank, and we are pleased that our future vision about the opportunities with NYDIG is so closely aligned.”

For more information, please visit: https://www.firstfoundationinc.com/crypto.

About First Foundation

First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ: FFWM) and its subsidiaries offer personal banking, business banking, and private wealth management services, including investment, trust, insurance, and philanthropy services. This comprehensive platform of financial services is designed to help clients at any stage in their financial journey. First Foundation is comprised of an extraordinary team of financial professionals united around a single cause: to enable growth-minded individuals and businesses to boldly live the life they imagined and preserve the legacy they’ve worked so hard to build. The financial products and services offered by First Foundation are more consistent with those offered by larger financial institutions, while its high level of personalized service, accessibility, and responsiveness to clients are more aligned with community banks and boutique wealth management firms. This combination of an integrated platform of comprehensive financial services and the products along with personalized service differentiates First Foundation from many of its competitors and has contributed to the growth of its client base and business. Services are offered through bank and/or wealth management branch offices in California, Texas, Nevada, and Hawaii.

About NYDIG

NYDIG provides Bitcoin investment and technology solutions to insurers, banks, corporations, and institutions. The firm and its products meet the industry’s highest regulatory, audit, and governance standards. Learn more at nydig.com, or connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.