Raymond James acquiring Chicago brokerage

Raymond James Financial is buying the Chicago brokerage firm Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett Inc., giving the St. Petersburg financial services company nearly $2 billion more in assets under management.

Raymond James chief executive Paul Reilly said the merger announced Wednesday not only adds to the company's private client presence in some key markets but bolsters its expertise in the financial institutions sector.

A middle-market broker, Howe Barnes focuses on community banks, providing equity research, sales, trading and investment banking services. The company serves more than 4,500 clients with more than $1.9 billion in assets under management. Founded in 1915, Howe Barnes employs 115 associates.

As part of the transaction, Howe Barnes chairman and CEO Dan Coughlin will join Raymond James as a managing director of investment banking and will head the Raymond James financial institutions practice with managing director Patrick DeLacey.

Raymond James represents clients with $254 billion in assets, of which about $31 billion are managed by the firm's subsidiaries.

The deal is expected to close around March 31. Financial terms were not disclosed. Shares in Raymond James closed at $33.07 Wednesday, down 52 cents.

Raymond James acquiring Chicago brokerage 12/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 7:01am]

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