Citizens Bank to acquire JMP Group in $149M, all-cash deal

Citizens Bank will acquire San Francisco-based investment banking and asset management firm JMP Group in an all-cash deal worth about $149 million, the bank announced Wednesday. 

The deal, slated to close in this year's fourth quarter, aims to help Citizens scale in healthcare, technology, financials, and real estate, according to a slide deck.

The move is the latest in a spree of transactions the Providence, Rhode Island-based bank has made this year. British banking titan HSBC sold 80 of its U.S. branches to Citizens in May. Two months later, Citizens announced its intent to buy Short Hills, New Jersey-based Investors Bancorp in a $3.5 billion deal that, together with the HSBC additions, would propel Citizens to the top 10 in deposits among retail and commercial banks in the New York City market. Citizens last month announced plans to buy Portland, Oregon-based valuation consulting firm Willamette Management Associates.   

"The acquisition of JMP represents an attractive opportunity for us to continue to broaden both our capabilities and our customer base in our commercial banking segment," Citizens CEO Bruce Van Saun said. "The acquisition further strengthens Citizens’ growing corporate finance and strategic advisory capabilities, with a focus on high growth and compelling industry sectors."

JMP Group President Mark Lehmann will lead the business after the deal closes, the slide deck indicated. As part of the deal, JMP shareholders are slated to receive $7.50 for each share they hold.

"Citizens takes an approach to business and client service that mirrors our own," Joseph Jolson, founder and chairman of JMP, said in Wednesday's release. "We are energized by the opportunity to provide new strategic advisory and equities capabilities to Citizens’ corporate client base while simultaneously offering JMP Securities’ clients a highly complementary set of products and services as part of a leading U.S. depository institution."

With about 1,000 branches in 11 states and more than $185 billion in assets, Citizens ranks as the 15th-largest U.S. commercial bank, according to the Federal Reserve. 

"We are adding a wealth of talented bankers as well as an institutional equities franchise that aligns well with our sector-focused corporate banking philosophy," Donald McCree, Citizens' vice chairman and head of commercial banking, said Wednesday, adding that the transaction expands the bank's range of services and national presence.