Core Banking

First Bancorp Expands to South Carolina, Acquires GrandSouth

First_Ban_corp
First Bancorp and GrandSouth Bancorporation announced a merger where First Bancorp will acquire GrandSouth at a share value of $31.43 per share, or a total value of $181.1 million in an all-stock transaction.

GrandSouth is in great communities with talented bankers. Our cultures are very similar and we are excited to bring our teams together."

Mike Mayer, President and CEO of First Bank

Approved by the boards of directors of both companies, the merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022 or early first quarter of 2023. On closing of the merger agreement, shareholders of GrandSouth will receive 0.910 shares of First Bancorp. The combined company is also slated to have $12 billion in assets and $7 billion in loans, as well as $10 billion in deposits.

GrandSouth is currently operating through eight branches in key towns and cities in South Carolina. The merger will bolster First Bank’s specialization in small business banking.

We are very excited about this partnership and the unique opportunity it presents. We have long admired First Bancorp, and our combined company will be positioned to capitalize on an enhanced presence in exceptional markets, talent, and financial strength."

J.B. Schwiers, President and Director of GrandSouth

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Financial Management

H.I.G. Capital Completes Acquisition of CHA Consulting

H.I.G | January 23, 2024

H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a global alternative investment firm with $60 billion of capital under management, is pleased to announce that one of its affiliates has completed the acquisition of CHA Consulting, Inc. (“CHA” or the “Company”), a leading full-service engineering, design, consulting, and program management firm providing a range of technology-enabled services to public, private, and institutional clients. CHA’s existing management team, led by President Jim Stephenson, will continue to lead the Company and remain shareholders in the business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Albany, New York, CHA operates under three main sectors: infrastructure, power & manufacturing, and commercial & institutional. The Company serves clients across diversified end-markets including government, manufacturing, transportation, utility, water resources, commercial, and education. Through a combination of experienced and high-quality engineers, end-market expertise, and diverse capabilities, CHA provides industry-leading service to its blue-chip customer base. Jim Stephenson, President & CEO of CHA Consulting and Holdings, Inc., commented, “H.I.G. brings tremendous financial and operational resources with a great track record supporting companies and delivering value. We are confident this partnership will further position CHA for continued growth and will provide opportunities to better support our clients and the markets we serve.” “We are excited to partner with Jim and his exceptional management team. CHA provides critical engineering services through its talented team and is well-positioned for continued growth, capitalizing on accelerating investments in the end markets they serve across the United States and Canada. We look forward to supporting the team’s growth strategy and strategically broadening its operational scope across North America, both organically and through additional add-on acquisitions,” added Matt Hankins, Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital. Houlihan Lokey, Inc. served as lead financial advisor with support from AEC Advisors, and Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel for CHA. Harris Williams LLC served as financial advisor, and Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to H.I.G. About CHA Consulting CHA Consulting, Inc. is an innovative, full-service engineering, design, consulting, and program management firm providing a wide range of technology-enhanced services to public, private, and institutional clients. They are focused on delivering sustainable, integrated solutions to the world's most challenging infrastructure projects across utilities, transportation, water, and other critical commercial and industrial end-markets. CHA was ranked 69th largest engineering firm in the U.S. in 2023 by ENR, with approximately 1,800 employees and 50 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. About H.I.G. Capital H.I.G. Capital is a leading global alternative investment firm with $60 billion of capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco in the United States, as well as international affiliate offices in Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Dubai, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations, and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche, and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. also manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices. H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 400 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $53 billion.

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Fintech, Investments

KSL Capital Partners Announces Promotions, Including Four New Partners

KSL Capital Partners | December 15, 2023

KSL Capital Partners, LLC ("KSL"), a leading investor in travel and leisure businesses, today announced its 2024 promotions, including the addition of four individuals to the firm's partnership. The following individuals have been promoted to Partner effective January 1, 2024. Kirk Adamson Martin Edsinger Kevin Rohnstock Tina Yu "Our people are our single most important asset, and we could not be more pleased to welcome four new Partners who reflect the strength of our firm and global team," said Eric Resnick, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of KSL. "On behalf of the entire KSL team, I want to congratulate Kirk, Martin, Kevin and Tina on their well-deserved promotions to Partner and thank them for their unique strengths and exceptional leadership, which have been instrumental to KSL's success to date. Each will support our continued growth in the years to come." KSL also announced Michael Acierno and Harris Levinson have been promoted to Principal, effective January 1, 2024. "KSL is committed to building the next generation of private equity leaders and promoting from within our firm, and we are thrilled to see the continued progression of our team," said Peter McDermott, Chief Investment Officer and co-founder of KSL. "Mike and Harris both joined us as associates and are now key leaders in our tactical opportunities and credit fund strategies, and we thank them for their hard work and commitment. We look forward to their continued growth at KSL." Mr. Acierno, who focuses on tactical opportunities, and Mr. Levinson, who focuses on credit investments, are also members of the firm's Investment Committee. About Kirk Adamson Prior to joining KSL in 2017, Kirk was a Principal in Blackstone's Real Estate Debt Strategies team (BREDS) based in London. Prior to Blackstone, Kirk was an Associate in Deutsche Bank's Commercial Real Estate Group from 2010 to 2012. Earlier in his career, Kirk worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Deutsche Bank, based in both New York and London. Kirk holds a B.S. in Accounting & Business Administration from Washington & Lee University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Kirk focuses on North American investments. About Martin Edsinger Prior to joining KSL in 2017, Martin worked as an Investment Manager with ARLE Capital Partners. Prior to ARLE Capital Partners, Martin worked as an Experienced Associate Consultant with Bain & Company and an Economic Analyst with NERA Economic Consulting. Martin graduated from The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), where he holds a degree in Accounting and Financial Management and an MSc in Economics and Business. Martin focuses on European investments. About Kevin Rohnstock Kevin serves as the firm's General Counsel. Prior to joining KSL in 2011 as Chief Compliance Officer, Kevin served as Associate General Counsel of Royal Gold, Inc. from 2009 to 2011 and as Senior Corporate Counsel for Newmont Mining Corporation from 2005 to 2009. Kevin began his legal career in 2002 as an Associate in the Corporate and Securities Department of Brownstein Hyatt & Farber, P.C. Kevin is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado. Kevin holds a B.A. from Holy Cross and a J.D. from the University of Denver. About Tina Yu Prior to joining KSL in 2011, Tina was an Investment Banking Analyst at Citigroup in the Real Estate group. Tina was awarded in 2018 The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) and The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) Young Leader Award and featured as one of the Influential Women in Hospitality by Hotel Magazine in 2018. Tina graduated magna cum laude from The University of Pennsylvania, where she holds a B.S. in Finance and Real Estate from the Wharton School and a B.A. in International Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences. Tina focuses on European investments. About KSL Capital Partners KSL Capital Partners, LLC is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado; Stamford, Connecticut; New York, New York; and London, England. KSL invests across three primary strategies through its equity, credit and tactical opportunities funds. KSL's current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure.

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Financial Management

Priority Announces Strategic Technology Partnership with Treasure Financial

Priority | December 11, 2023

Priority Technology Holdings, Inc. a leading provider of unified commerce solutions to businesses that accelerate cash flow and optimize working capital, has announced a strategic partnership with Treasure Financial Inc., a leading financial technology innovator in treasury management technology. Priority’s integration with Treasure Financial’s cutting-edge embedded yield API will enable Priority’s customers to allocate their excess working capital to an investment account across a diversified portfolio comprising premiere, secure vehicles such as Treasuries, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), Government-backed money market funds, and professionally managed fixed-income instruments. This innovative partnership with Treasure provides Priority’s customers with a truly unified commerce platform that allows them to manage the point of sale or receivables payments in their Passport financial account in more ways. The integration offers Treasure’s higher-yielding investment capabilities and leverages the modern payables tools of Passport to optimize working capital on a single platform. “We are on a mission to change the way businesses, large and small, think about their payment solution providers by providing technology and services as revenue accelerators to grow their businesses and drive efficiency in their operations, and not as another cost center,” noted Thomas Priore, Chairman and CEO of Priority. At a time when operational efficiency and capital management optimization for businesses of all sizes remains paramount, the combination of Priority’s payments and banking capabilities and Treasure’s investment platform are disruptors to traditional business banking and cash management strategies. Each portfolio is actively managed by Treasure’s expert in-house investment team. Advanced algorithms help guide a thoughtful investment approach to cash management and yield generation. “The inclusion of Treasure’s capabilities into our unified commerce engine and treasury service offering brings us to the next level with cutting-edge cash management solutions,” states Al Acevedo, Senior Vice President of Treasury Services at Priority. “We are excited to launch this investment offering into our SMB, B2B and Enterprise channels so that our 800+ thousand customers may access a variety of investment and treasury management options from our trusted partner directly from their Passport account,” added Acevedo. “We are proud to partner with Priority to leverage the Treasure API and embed our corporate-grade cash management offering directly on the Priority Passport platform. This partnership is a testament to Treasure’s capabilities and will enable Priority’s customers to constantly maximize the yield on their idle cash without leaving the platform. This first-of-its-kind embedded finance partnership between Treasure and Priority is a huge step forward for the payments industry,” said Ben Verschuere, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Treasure Financial. ISOs, ISVs, finance professionals, and businesses interested in learning more about the Treasure and Priority partnership should contact their Priority representative or visit PriorityCommerce.com. About Priority Technology Holdings, Inc Priority is a solutions provider in Payments and Banking as a Service (BaaS) operating at scale with 820K active customers across its SMB, B2B and Enterprise channels. Priority processes $118B in annual transaction volume and provides administration for $850M in average daily deposits. Priority’s purpose-built technology enables clients to collect, store, borrow and send while providing customers acceptance of AP payment applications and Passport financial tools that best optimize their cash flow and maximize working capital.

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Investment Management

Jefferies Establishes Full Service Investment Banking and Capital Markets Capabilities in Canada

Jefferies | December 04, 2023

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE: JEF) today announced it has established full service investment banking and capital markets capabilities in Canada to serve the evolving needs of corporate, institutional and government clients across Canada. With this expansion, Jefferies will now provide clients in depth expertise in advisory, M&A advisory, equity and debt capital markets, risk solutions, equity research, and sales and trading across all sectors in Canada. The Investment Banking team in Canada will be led by Bruce Rothney as CEO, along with the Honourable John Manley as Chairman, Ron Lloyd as Deputy Chairman, and Trond Lossius as Deputy Chairman and Head of M&A, Erik Charbonneau as Head of Investment Banking, Jacquelyn Titus as Head of the Financial Institutions Group and James McKenna as Head of TMT and Diversified Industrials. Canada is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world, and as we enter 2024, we will have critical mass serving Canada, with more than 40 people joining across investment banking, equity research, and sales and trading. In partnership with Jefferies' existing global platform, our team in Canada will deliver our full suite of advisory and capital markets capabilities. We are fortunate to have a leadership team that brings such a deep and distinguished track record in the Canadian market, and we anticipate continuing to expand our capabilities and talent in the region to ensure we can best serve our clients. Rich Handler, CEO, and Brian Friedman, President, of Jefferies Today, Jefferies has 44 offices in more than 20 countries around the world, including having recently expanded further in France, Spain, Australia, Brazil and the Middle East. Earlier this year, Jefferies also announced a significant enlargement of its partnership with SMBC, which broadened the two firm’s scope of collaboration in M&A advisory services and across each firms’ equities and debt capital markets businesses. “Jefferies’ culture has always been and continues to be that of a pure Wall Street partnership solely focused on providing the best advice to clients,” said Bruce Rothney, CEO of Jefferies Canada. “Its proven long-term leadership, investment in talent and exceptional work for clients has positioned Jefferies as one of the few leading global investment banking firms. Canada is emerging as one of the largest and fastest growing economies and its standout sectors – technology, healthcare, financial services, energy and power, telecom and media, and consumer – align perfectly with Jefferies. Our new Canadian team is excited to bring clients Jefferies’ deep industry perspectives, M&A and capital markets solutions and geographical insights.” About Jefferies Jefferies (NYSE: JEF) is a leading global, full-service investment banking and capital markets firm that provides advisory, sales and trading, research, wealth, and asset management services. With more than 40 offices around the world, we offer insights and expertise to investors, companies and governments. For more information: www.jefferies.com.

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Spotlight

Tax groups have a meaningful opportunity to enhance the value of their organization’s digital transformation effort. This priority, which involves migrating tax automation to the cloud in tandem with larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud migrations is becoming even more time sensitive. This white paper examines leading

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