Bank M&A

Defining Success in M&A

Tricia Lesh
Vice President of Marketing

Bank Director’s 2020 RankingBanking Study Identifies The Best Bank M&A Deals

NASHVILLE, TENN, December 17, 2019Bank Director, the leading information resource for directors and officers of financial institutions nationwide, released its 2020 RankingBanking study, sponsored by Crowe LLP. This year’s study focuses on the best U.S. bank M&A transactions across several categories, including by asset size and market reaction. In addition, Bank Director analyzed branch transactions, purchases of business lines, and examined the financial performance of serial acquirers.

“This year’s study differs from the past two years in that it is a more deal-focused than bank-focused ranking,” says Emily McCormick, vice president of research at Bank Director. “Bank Director dug into the post-acquisition performance of more than 40 acquirers to see what made each deal successful. We’re presenting something truly unique, while applying the same level of care and analysis that we’ve incorporated in the past.”

The latest iteration of Bank Director’s RankingBanking study looks at the best mergers and acquisitions in the banking industry completed between January 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

“The M&A market was particularly advantageous for acquirers in the $1 billion to $10 billion asset range in the periods examined for the study,” says Rick Childs, a partner at Crowe LLP. “In general, the stock market in 2017 and the first half of 2018 was still very favorable for banks, and that impacted the price that was being paid for institutions, and the stock price of the buyer was impacting the ability to do transactions.”

The five top-performing deals per category were selected using a predetermined methodology. Bank Director then examined these deals a second time using a category-specific algorithm that included data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and the FDIC.

By category, the top deals are:

Best Large Bank Deal (Over $15 Billion in assets)
Acquirer: Valley National Bancorp
Target: USAmeriBancorp

Best Mid-Sized Bank Deal ($1 Billion to $15 Billion)
Acquirer: CenterState Bank Corp.
Target: HCBF Holding Co.

Best Community Bank Deal (Under $1 Billion)
Acquirer: Texas State Bankshares
Target: Blanco National Holdings

Best Merger of Equals
Acquirer: Union Bank
Target: Union Banc Corp.

Best Deal by Market Reaction
Acquirer: Veritex Holdings
Target: Sovereign Bancshares

Best Branch Network Acquisition
Acquirer: People’s Utah Bancorp
Target: Banner Corp.

Best Technology Acquisition
Acquirer: KeyCorp
Target: HelloWallet

Best Strategic Non-Bank Acquisition
Acquirer: Citizens Financial Group
Target: Franklin American Mortgage Co.

Best M&A Strategy
Acquirer: Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida

Bank Director also included the legal teams and investment bankers that worked behind the scenes on the winning deals in this year’s report. The full results of Bank Director’s 2020 RankingBanking study are available on

About Bank Director
Since 1991, Bank Director has served as a leading information resource for the directors and officers of financial institutions. Through Bank Director magazine, executive-level research, annual conferences and its website,, Bank Director reaches the leaders of the institutions that comprise America’s banking industry. Bank Director is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee. For more information, please visit

Contact: Michelle King, chief marketing officer, (615) 777-8465, [email protected]

Tricia Lesh

Vice President of Marketing

Tricia Lesh is Vice President of Marketing for Bank Director and manages the production and development projects for and In addition, Tricia is focused on leading the direction of the company’s marketing, public relations and branding initiatives. A graduate of Belmont University, Tricia has more than 20+ years of experience in the financial industry, working in institutions with assets ranging from $500 million to $2.2 billion.