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The Tuesday Express: North American financials

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The Tuesday Express: North American financials

* Insurance broker Cook Maran & Associates will acquire New York-based Gundermann & Gundermann.

* Ascension Insurance Services, which does business as Pan American Insurance Agency, is buying Ag Providers Insurance Services' retail operations in California.

* CardConnect acquired Chicago, Ill.-based financial services provider MertzCo.

* Also, credit union service organization CO-OP Financial Services paid $100 million to acquire all remaining shares of payments processor TMG from Iowa Credit Union League.

* In banking, Flagstar Bancorp agreed to purchase certain assets of Opes Advisors.

* NBT Bancorp unit NBT Bank acquired Downeast Pension Services, a retirement plan services company.

* California First National Bancorp flagged a more than 50% reduction in its leverage loan portfolio for the next 12 months resulting from a directive issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

* Reuters reports that asset managers, including BlackRock, are pushing to halt the sale of Portugal's Novo Banco to Lone Star. "The rules governing the sales process are discriminatory and breach Portuguese and EU law," they claimed.

* And in opposition of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to request the city's finance department to cut off ties with banks backing the project, The Seattle Times reports.

The Daily Dose: Express Edition is updated as of 6:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.