Banks are increasingly interested in the topic of mergers and acquisitions, which must have something to do with our record attendance at this year’s Acquire or Be Acquired Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The fun begins at The Phoenician (pictured above) this weekend with Bank Director’s 21st annual “AOBA.” Last year, we welcomed 435 officers & directors from 271 financial institutions to the Arizona Biltmore. This year, we have 522 bankers and bank board members from more than 300 banks in attendance. Merger activity is clearly gaining steam, and this is bringing more interested parties to the table.
Three Days in the Desert
Why banks are bought (or sold) involves much more than just the numbers making sense. Moreover, to successfully negotiate a merger transaction, buyers and sellers must bridge the gap between a number of financial, legal, accounting and social challenges. So allow me to sketch out what’s on tap for this massive three-day event.
To kick things off, we take a macro-level look at capital markets and operating conditions for banks nationwide. Additionally, we look at how M&A fits within a broad range of strategic options for a bank’s board and how some successful acquirers have aligned transactions to achieve strategic goals. Of note, we welcome the perspectives of CEOs from high performing banks like Pinnacle National Bank, Banner Corp., First Interstate BancSystem, IBERIABANK and CVB Corp. as part of several presentations. On stage, these men will share their thoughts on what it takes to build and lead successful institutions.
Building on the first day of the conference, we turn our attention to the long-term preparation required by both a buyer and seller. For instance, regulatory planning remains critical to getting deals done for both sides — especially on compliance issues. Thematically, Monday builds on Sunday’s presentations, with sessions dedicated to helping a bank’s board make a rational buy, sell or hold decision.
To put a bow on this year’s event, we start with a look at what the biggest banks are doing today followed by a series of breakout sessions on more in-depth topics. To conclude, we welcome the perspectives of our friends from NASDAQ who will look at trends, issues and the “movers and shakers” in the technology world that may impact growth and innovation within the financial community. As much as AOBA explores one’s financial growth opportunities, this final session examines what’s happening outside of our industry that may precipitate new changes or challenges to a bank’s growth aspirations. Oh and in the afternoon… we swap suits for cleats, wrapping up AOBA with our annual golf tournament.
Can’t Make it?
For those not able to join us — but interested in following the conversations — I invite you to follow me on Twitter via @AlDominick, the host company, @BankDirector, and search & follow #AOBA15 to see what is being shared with our attendees.