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Janney Montgomery Scott to buy FIG Partners

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Janney Montgomery Scott will deepen its ties to the banking sector by buying FIG Partners, an investment banking and equities research firm.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Janney did not disclose how much it would pay.

The deal “is a unique opportunity for two firms with shared values and similar cultures to join together,” Janney CEO Timothy Scheve said in a Tuesday press release. “The acquisition reflects Janney’s goal to be a leader in comprehensive financial advisory services and provides FIG Partners access to an enhanced platform and geographic reach to continue their growth.”

This is Janney’s second investment bank purchase in the past year. It bought HighBank Advisors last May.

FIG's specialization in community banks is “an attractive area for M&A and capital raising, and a sector of interest to Janney’s more than 800 financial advisers,” Joseph Culley, head of Janney's capital markets group, said in the release.

Atlanta-based FIG expects all 54 of its employees to stay at Janney, and there are no immediate plans to relocate those workers. Philadelphia-based Janney has offices in 21 states and Washington, D.C.

“What is great about this combination is it is a rare growth opportunity for both our firms,” Geoffrey Hodgson, FIG's co-founder and CEO, said in an interview. “There is virtually no overlap with what we do with what they do.”

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Several FIG’s executives will take leadership roles at Janney. Hodgson will become head of equities and investment banking, while Chris Marinac will be director of research.

Hodgson said FIG's management team had always known it would need a larger platform to keep meeting the needs of growing community bank clients. Moving forward, FIG will serve community banks with assets of $100 million to $10 billion, Hodgson said.

“Janney is the right partner at the right time — a firm with a shared vision for serving clients, communities and employees,” Hodgson said in the release.

“This is an opportunity to bring our community bank clients a powerful combination of scale, sophistication and expertise," Hodgson added. "As part of Janney, FIG will help clients raise more capital, advise on more deals and offer more research and insight to investors.”

FIG covers 125 small and midsize banks and makes markets in more than 800 community bank stocks. It was one of the busiest bank M&A advisers last year, handling 21 deals valued at more than $3.7 billion, based on data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Freeman & Co. and Blank Rome advised Janney. Silver, Freedman, Taff & Tiernan advised FIG Partners.

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