January 30, 2023
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Our view: Mike Towbes’ legacy will live on


The Central Coast will be remembering the late Mike Towbes for a long time.

By creating a trust to ensure local ownership of Montecito Bank & Trust, the Princeton-educated engineer created a vehicle for community philanthropy that will stretch on for future decades.

The people around him, family members, his widow Anne Smith Towbes, Montecito Bank & Trust executives Janet Garufis and George Leis and Towbes Group President Craig Zimmerman are extremely capable. They have the talent and temperament to make good on Towbes’ commitments for a very long time.

His real estate holdings, including thousands of apartments and 1.5 million square feet of retail and commercial space, are quite a legacy that will provide income and rising wealth and could, if needed, pay a large estate tax bill.

But by keeping Montecito Bank & Trust intact at a time of great change in the banking landscape, Towbes has created a legacy that provides a lead financial institution for the region and a vehicle for community engagement.

That legacy is perhaps his greatest feat of engineering.

• Contact Henry Dubroff at hdubroff@pacbiztimes.com.