Lambert Acquires New York Banking and Financial Services Firm Casteel Schoenborn Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Lambert & Co., a top-10 investor relations firm and a top-5 private equity communications agency nationally, today announced the acquisition of Casteel Schoenborn Investor Relations & Corporate Communications. The deal marks Lambert's seventh transaction and second in the last two months.   The transaction advances Lambert's strategy to be the nation's leading integrated investor relations and public relations firm for emerging and established market leaders through organic growth, acquisitions and innovation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "The Casteel Schoenborn team has built a tremendous business offering strategic guidance to publicly traded regional and community banks and other U.S. financial services firms, making them a perfect fit to accelerate our strategic plan and bolster our IR and financial services sector expertise," said Jeff Lambert, founder and CEO. "Their unique approach, enduring partnerships with management teams and vast experience set enhances our current client roster and creates a true financial services powerhouse."

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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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Core Banking

Webull partners with Dow Jones to drive greater financial literacy and empower retail investing decisions

Webull Corporation | January 30, 2024

Webull, a leading online broker for global investors, has launched an initiative to drive financial literacy, announcing its partnership with Dow Jones, a global news and business information services provider and the publisher of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The agreement aims to drive greater levels of financial literacy among retail investors by empowering Webull customers with curated award-winning content from The Wall Street Journal, including news, analysis, and essential insights on managing personal finances. The collaboration provides access to the publication's trusted and reliable journalism to help Webull users make better educated and informed decisions around their financial goals. Webull users will receive a curated round-up of WSJ articles on its news feed within the app. New and renewing Webull customers will also receive a WSJ subscription. "Webull was founded on the principle of democratizing investing and making it more accessible and inclusive - especially for first time investors. In this regard, we've already seen success, with a robust number of our active members being first-time investors," said Anthony Denier, Webull Group President. "Through this partnership with Dow Jones, we want to put the power of the world's leading financial publication straight into the hands of our customers with content that helps investors make better financial decisions with greater confidence." "Financial literacy, powered by trusted and credible journalism, leads to better decisions," said David Martin, Chief Revenue Officer for Business Intelligence at Dow Jones. "We are delighted to work with Webull and look forward to putting the Journal's high-quality and award-winning business news, information and analysis at the fingertips of millions of Webull users on its platform to help elevate their decision making process." Financial literacy has been identified as a key barrier to entry to investing for many people, with research from the World Economic Forum revealing that 40% of non-investors chose not to invest because they do not know how or find it too confusing. In addition, approximately 70% said they would be more likely to invest, or invest more, with expanded financial education. With the trend of retail investors skewing younger, the initiative aims to address knowledge gaps by providing access to actionable and outcome-oriented information to help educate and shape the way new and existing users navigate fast-changing markets in an informed and responsible manner. About Webull Webull is a leading digital investment platform built on next generation global infrastructure. The Webull Group is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida and backed by private equity investors located in the United States, Europe and Asia. Webull serves tens of millions of users from over 180 countries, providing retail investors with 24/7 access to global financial markets. Users can put investment strategies to work by trading global stocks, ETFs, options and fractional shares, through Webull's trading platform, which is currently available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil and Canada. Webull also offers investment education services, with lessons covering a wide range of topics. About Dow Jones Dow Jones is a global provider of news and business information, delivering content to consumers and organizations around the world across multiple formats, including print, digital, mobile and live events. Dow Jones has produced unrivaled quality content for more than 130 years and today has one of the world's largest news-gathering operations globally. It is home to leading publications and products including the flagship Wall Street Journal, America's largest newspaper by paid circulation; Barron's, MarketWatch, Mansion Global, Financial News, Investor's Business Daily, Factiva, Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires, OPIS and Chemical Market Analytics.

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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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Investment Management

AffiniPay Launches AffiniPay IQ, Generative AI for Legal Tech Industry

AffiniPay | January 24, 2024

AffiniPay, the leader in online payments and software solutions for professionals, announced the launch of generative AI embedded in its leading legal technology products, MyCase, CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise. “At AffiniPay, we believe generative AI can drive the type of efficiencies and insights that will result in better outcomes for our customers and their clients,” said Dru Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of AffiniPay, parent company of MyCase, CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise. “As a trusted technology partner, we have big plans to empower our customers with AI, and are excited to announce the launch of AffiniPay IQ.” According to the newly released 2024 LawPay and MyCase Legal Industry Report, productivity is a key driver for generative AI investment, with 75% of law firms citing it as the top reason for their interest in AI. To meet this demand, AffiniPay is investing in generative AI and plans to roll out new solutions in a phased manner across the legal product suite. Starting with a MyCase beta, AffiniPay plans to extend various AI solutions to CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise in the coming months. The company’s vision is that customers will be able to utilize AI-powered conversational interface that will enable users to access their data and generate insights using natural language, directly within the interface. These future features will include Case and firm search: Attorneys and staff can quickly get answers to their questions around a specific case or client, saving time in their day Intelligent insights: Law firms can receive customized recommendations to optimize intake, productivity, cash flow, and more Automation: Firms can create workflows, send payments, and open files - all by interacting with the platforms in a conversational way, just like they would with a trusted assistant The first beta release of AffiniPay IQ features include document summarization and text editing, both of which will be woven seamlessly into the suite of AffiniPay’s legal products. Starting with MyCase and CASEpeer, the following AI features will be built into daily workflows Document summarization: Empowers law firms to review case documents quickly using AI-generated summaries of their contents Text editing: AI-powered text editing embedded into the product to allow style updating, tone changes, and summarization “We are committed to our responsible approach to innovation, and are excited to launch generative AI functionality into our software that serves our customers and their needs, and no one else,” said Bryan Thompson, Chief Technology Officer of AffiniPay. “This is the first of many thoughtful generative AI features that our team will be weaving into our product suite over the coming months.” The second release of AffiniPay IQ features will include Communication drafts: Attorneys and staff can quickly generate first drafts of client communications or invoice reminders Translations: Users can translate text into different languages instantly Task & event generation: Law firms can select and analyze text in notes, documents, or emails, and receive suggestions for tasks or events, saving time at every step Data population: Docketwise-specific AI feature that instantly extracts key information from copies of passports, drivers’ licenses, and birth certificates, to automatically populate immigration SmartForms AffiniPay invites legal professionals to experience AffiniPay IQ from Jan. 29 - Feb. 2, during Legalweek in New York, where both LawPay and MyCase are sponsors. About AffiniPay AffiniPay is a market leader in practice management software and online payments for professionals serving legal, accounting, architectural, engineering, and construction firms. AffiniPay has been recognized as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies for 12 years in a row. Each of its brands leads the market it serves with solutions purpose-built by industry including LawPay, MyCase, CASEpeer, Docketwise, CPACharge, and AffiniPay for Associations. AffiniPay’s solutions are trusted by more than 245,000 legal & accounting professionals with more than 150 strategic partnerships and endorsements, including the American Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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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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