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Citizens Financial Group acquires Western Reserve Partners

Citizens Financial Group has acquired Western Reserve Partners, a Cleveland-based merger and acquisition advisory firm dedicated to delivering a full range of financial advisory services with a focus on middle market clients.

The transaction follows the 2016 launch of Citizens Capital Markets, which added broker-dealer capabilities to the bank’s capital markets platform.
The acquisition will further strengthen Citizens’ ability to serve commercial clients by accelerating the build out of its M&A and financial advisory capabilities. This key and growing client need was highlighted in the bank’s recently published sixth annual nationwide Middle Market M&A Outlook, in which 73 per cent of potential buyers and 53 per cent of potential sellers said they are either currently involved in or open to considering a strategic transaction.
Ralph M Della Ratta, Western Reserve’s CEO and managing partner, who co-founded the firm in 2004 with five other partners who are still active in the business, will lead the Western Reserve team and report to Donald McCree, Citizens vice chairman and head of Commercial Banking.
The addition of the Western Reserve team will result in a combined Citizens M&A and financial advisory platform of nearly 30 professionals, including nine managing directors with an average of more than 30 years of financial services experience.
“Citizens is dedicated to delivering the expertise, capabilities and strong execution to help each client through its business life cycle,” says McCree. “We have been moving decisively to broaden our capabilities and this acquisition adds scale and deep expertise, along with a strong cultural fit, that will help us to advise our clients even more effectively.”
“We are delighted to join such a strong and growing commercial bank,” says Della Ratta. “The decision to buy or sell is among the most critical a business can make, and this transaction positions Citizens even more strongly to partner with its clients at that critical stage of their business life.”

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