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Performance Trust acquiring depository-focused Banks Street Partners

Chicago-based Performance Trust Capital Partners LLC has agreed to purchase Atlanta-based Banks Street Partners LLC, an advisory-focused investment bank that primarily covers depositories in the Southeast.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. The deal would mark Performance Trust's first acquisition. Previously the company had been building a depository i-banking practice through hires, starting with the 2012 addition of Dan Bass.

Performance Trust is hoping the deal will bring more scale to its investment banking business, which now has six senior professionals. The Banks Street acquisition should roughly double that total.

"This is now a big statement that Performance Trust is serious about investment banking," CEO Richard Berg said in an interview.

The leaders of Performance Trust and Banks Street believe the pro forma platform would rank in the top five of bank and thrift M&A league tables. Berg said he does not anticipate any other acquisitions in the near term, but that the company would like to add further investment banking talent.

Performance Trust would still like to add coverage in the Northeast, Midwest and West, according to Head of Investment Banking Daryle DiLascia, who will continue to lead the business after the deal closes. DiLascia said the goal is to build a national investment banking team.

Performance Trust's fixed-income offering does service banks throughout the country. Banks Street Partners CEO Lee Burrows said the scope of the fixed-income coverage is part of the reason he was interested in the deal. He believes his team can expand its geographic coverage by offering services such as debt and equity offerings, branch deals and M&A to Performance Trust's fixed-income clients.

The widening of coverage is important to Banks Street because Burrows noted that he can see deal activity drying up in some of his company's most active states such as North Carolina and South Carolina. "We need to continue to expand our footprint and build into the adjacent states where we are not active," he said in an interview.

Burrows named Arkansas and Missouri as states where his team could become more active. "We haven't had the manpower to really go out and call on banks in those markets," he said.

Burrows, who is slated to become vice chairman of investment banking, said he will help build out the platform, while Banks Street President Gary McNorrill will lead southeast investment banking.

Burrows said several potential suitors had expressed interest in his firm, and he first spoke with Performance Trust about five years ago. But Berg said the time had not been right for a deal because Performance Trust had just started its push into depository investment banking.

But Berg said now that Performance Trust has proved it can have success in investment banking, the deal for Banks Street made more sense.

"With Daryle coming on board, we resurrected all of those talks," he said.