I planned to write about a number of banks I was excited to see this weekend at AOBA. But as Steve Jobs once shared “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” In this spirit, let me highlight nine banks that I anticipate our attendees will be talking about in Arizona at Bank Director’s annual M&A conference.
In a few minutes, I’ll hop an American flight to Phoenix for this year’s Acquire or Be Acquired Conference. Before I depart the cold and slush of D.C. for some warmth and sun in the desert, this is my take on the banks I anticipate people talking about when we’re all together:
- Bank of the West — and not just because their CEO is keynoting this year’s conference. The bank, with more than 700 branches in the Midwest and Western United States, has long been a personal favorite of mine and competes in markets where many look for inspiration.
- Pinnacle Financial & Avenue Bank — because the combination of these two Tennessee standouts positions the new entity as the top community bank in Bank Director’s hometown of Nashville and puts them close to/over the $10Bn mark that some banks have tried to avoid.
- Talmer Bank & Chemical — since this “merger of equals” creates a $16Bn Michigan powerhouse.
- Bank of North Carolina — because they’ve been wheeling and dealing and are a great example of how an acquirer successfully integrates cultures (*yes, their CEO also speaks at AOBA this year on a CEO panel entitled Finding the Right Partners).
- KeyCorp — after it announced it would buy First Niagara, quite a few analysts hammered the deal… but as the type to bet the jockey and not the horse, I think Key will come out just fine.
- United Bank — having picked up a trophy franchise of their own in my hometown (another personal favorite of mine, Bank of Georgetown) they’ve made a number of interesting deals over the past few years and I bet have more on their mind.
- BB&T — having dealt for Susquehanna in ’14 and National Penn in ‘15, it is fair to ask: who’s next?
- M&T — finally (finally!) gaining regulatory approval for Hudson City, say no more.
- Huntington — yeah, their deal with First Merit was this week’s biggie…
By no means are these all of the banks that will come up in conversation; rather, those that are top of mind.
One final thought before hopping my flight west. The recent volatility in the stock market may be impacting institutions considering a capital raise, IPO or acquisition — but this week’s deal pace is far different then at this time in recent years. The patterns I’m beginning to see is a concentrated effort to get to over the $5Bn asset mark and into that sweetest of spots: the $5Bn to $50Bn asset class. A point I’ll elaborate on in an upcoming post/video.
So if you are interested in following the conference conversations via social channels, I invite you to follow me on Twitter via @AlDominick, the host company, @BankDirector, and search & follow #AOBA16 to see what is being shared with (and by) our attendees. Safe travels to those 930 men & women joining us this weekend!