Alan Rothenberg is the founder and Chairman of 1st Century Bank, N.A., which opened on March 1, 2004. Mr. Rothenberg saw a need in the community for a private bank willing to serve the mid-size businesses which are generally ignored by large banks, with a special focus on professionals, closely held and family businesses and high net worth individuals. To that end, he solicited investors in 1st Century Bank. The offering was over 50% oversubscribed. The $26.4 million capital that was raised was the most ever for a new bank in Los Angeles County. In a secondary offering in 2006 he raised an additional $35 million.
Mr. Rothenberg is also Chairman of Premier Partnerships, a sales, marketing, and consulting firm in Santa Monica specializing in sports, entertainment, and public facilities and events. The firm has served clients such as the National Basketball Association, HOK Sports, Los Angeles Clippers, The Rose Bowl, Pizza Hut Park, Arrowhead Stadium, Cisco Stadium (Oakland A’s), NFL International, the Dallas Super Bowl Host Committee, Mammoth Mountain Resort and Major League Soccer, with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Cleveland. In 2010, Premier received the Sports Business Journal’s “Agency of the Year” award.
Now retired from Latham & Watkins, Mr. Rothenberg joined that firm in July 1990 and was a well-known lawyer in Southern California. Before coming to the firm’s Los Angeles office, he had been a name Partner and Managing Partner at Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg & Phillips for more than 20 years. Marked by diversity, his practice involved matters including the banking, finance business, insurance securities, sports, and entertainment fields, among others.
As a lawyer in representing financial institutions, he handled actions involving lender liability, bank takeovers, wrongful foreclosure, wrongful charge backs, wrongful terminations, forged endorsements, D&O coverage, and securities violations. For business clients, Mr. Rothenberg litigated antitrust, breach of contract, insurance coverage, franchise, defamation, and shareholder claims, among others. In the area of sports and entertainment, Mr. Rothenberg handled numerous breaches of contract claims, franchise disputes, league arbitrations, intellectual properties, negotiated major media agreements, infringement issues, sponsorship financing and employment contracts. In addition, he has represented the Los Angeles Lakers in a federal tax litigation matter involving a franchise purchase as well as valuation of an arena in a property tax assessment appeal. And he represented a principal in a proceeding involving the valuation of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Washington Redskins, the Los Angeles Forum, and a controlling interest in a major cable television company. He was active in the representations of the Staples Center and Los Angeles Kings and with the efforts to build a new downtown football stadium and bring an NFL expansion team to Los Angeles.
An extremely active member of the bar and his community, Mr. Rothenberg has participated in a large number of bar-related organizations. Among his other activities in the legal community, he has served as President and member of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, and was a member of the Board of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of its Foundation as well as a member of the Board of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Century City Bar Association (Past President). He also served as Chairman of the Sports Law Section and Governing Committee of the Entertainment and Sports Law Forum of the American Bar Association. He was appointed by the California Supreme Court Chief Justice and the Speaker of the California Assembly to the Trial Court Delay Reduction Task Force. He also served on the Future of the Courts Committee and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Judicial Council of the State of California.
He now also serves as a commercial arbitrator and mediator, primarily in complex business matters.
In addition to 1st Century Bank (NASDAQ: FCTY), Mr. Rothenberg has served on or is serving on the following public company Boards of Directors: Zenith National Insurance (NYSE: ZNT) (member of Audit, Compensation and Health Committees, and Special Committee of Independent Directors during a pending merger); California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (NASDAQ: CPKI) (as the Chairman of Audit Committee and member of the Compensation Committee and Special Committee of Independent Directors); and, Arden Realty (NYSE) (member of the Compensation and Nomination and Governance Committees).
Prominent in civic realms, Mr. Rothenberg served as President of the Board of Airport Commission for The City of Los Angeles, which operates LAX, Ontario International Airport, and Van Nuys Airport. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and the Los Angeles Business Council, Board member of Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, a member and Past-President of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is Chairman of the Los Angeles Sports Council and was a member of the 2016 L.A. Olympic Bid Committee. Mr. Rothenberg is also Past-President and Chairman of the Music Center’s Fraternity of Friends, served on the Board of Governors of the Music Center, is a member of the Board and former President of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Museum of Science and Industry. He has been honored by numerous national and local organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, Boy Scouts, Constitutional Rights Foundation, FIFA, United States Olympic Foundation, Foundation of the State Bar of California, Century City Chamber of Commerce, the Jewish Federation-Legal Division, and UCLA.
His involvement with sports has led him to serve as Chairman of the Board of the breakthrough 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Chairman and CEO of the 1994 World Cup Organizing Committee, which staged the historic and incredibly successful 1994 World Cup, and President of the United States Soccer Federation (1990-1998). He also is the founder of Major League Soccer, the outdoor professional soccer league which commenced operations in April 1996. In the past, he has acted as Soccer Commissioner for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (1984), member of the Board of Directors of the North American Soccer League (1977-80), and Chairman of Aztec Sports Limited (owner of the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League, 1977-80). Mr. Rothenberg also served as a member of the National Basketball Association Board of Governors (1971-79, 1982-90) while representing the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively.
Mr. Rothenberg has lectured and spoken extensively on business, litigation and sports law matters across the country. In addition to serving as an instructor at the University of Southern California Industry Studies Program and at Whittier Law School, he has spoken before numerous bar associations and schools, including Brown University, Notre Dame University, Pepperdine University, Santa Clara University, UCLA, University of Michigan, University of San Diego, USC, and Yale Law School. Among many honors accorded Mr. Rothenberg, the MLS Championship Trophy was named the Alan I. Rothenberg Cup and he has been a recipient of FIFA’s Order of Merit and the United States Olympic Committee Foundation’s George Steinbrenner Award for Lifetime Distinguished Service to the Olympic Movement and is a member of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. The Los Angeles County Bar Moot Court winner receives the “Alan I. Rothenberg Best Litigator Award”.
In 1963, Mr. Rothenberg received a J.D. with distinction from the University of Michigan, where he served as assistant editor of the Michigan Law Review, was semi-finalist in the Campbell Competition, and received the Clarence M. Burton Scholarship Award for superior scholarship, all while working to support himself. While at the University of Michigan, he was inducted into both the Order of the Coif and a Member of Barristers Society. He received a B.A. in History from the same institution in 1960.
Mr. Rothenberg and his wife of 51 years, Georgina, have three sons and four grandchildren and reside in the Los Angeles area.