Citizens Financial Expands Advisory Capabilities With Clarfeld Financial Acquisition

Citizens Financial Group announced that Citizens Bank, N.A. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Clarfeld Financial Advisors.

Driven by a commitment to a client-focused service culture and its deep expertise in navigating complex financial needs, Clarfeld has been recognized as one of the industry’s most distinguished independent wealth advisors.

The Clarfeld team includes CFAs, CPAs, attorneys and CFPs and utilizes a highly efficient and scalable technology platform. Clarfeld delivers a fully integrated, multi-disciplined approach to managing the financial affairs of high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients, their families and related entities. As of September 30, 2018, Clarfeld held approximately $6.6 billion of AUM and approximately $900 million of  AUA.

“The Clarfeld acquisition provides a unique opportunity to accelerate our strategy of building a highly competitive wealth management business that is well-positioned to offer a comprehensive range of wealth management and banking services to existing and future clients,” said John Bahnken, president and chief executive officer of Citizens Bank Wealth Management.

Bahnken continued, “Clarfeld’s strong leadership, highly skilled team of wealth management professionals and broad range of advisory services complement our existing platform while adding important scale to our business. I am delighted to announce that upon closing, Robert A. Clarfeld will be named CEO of our combined high net worth and ultra-high net worth businesses. Under Rob’s leadership, we have a significant opportunity to serve the most complex needs of our clients while we continue to focus on expanding our business.”

“For 37 years our team has delivered highly individualized wealth management services through a fully integrated, multi-disciplined approach that has weathered multiple market cycles and shifting income and estate tax laws,” said Robert A. Clarfeld, founder and chief executive officer of Clarfeld. “Citizens shares our deep commitment to delivering exceptional client-centric wealth management services. I am excited about leading the build-out of our combined private wealth platform. With a broader range of products and services, we will be well-positioned to provide an exceptional value proposition to existing and future clients.”

As of September 30, 2018, Citizens Bank Wealth Management had approximately $7.9 billion in AUM and total AUM/AUA of $26.5 billion, including $3.5 billion in AUM and $3.7 billion in AUA within the Citizens Bank Private Wealth Management platform. On a combined basis, Citizens Bank Wealth Management and Clarfeld would oversee approximately $14.4 billion of AUM and $34.1 billion of AUM/AUA.*

Ranked as a top-25 RIAs for 2018 by Barron’s, Clarfeld previously has been highly ranked by Bloomberg and Financial Times.

Clarfeld’s founder and CEO, Robert A. Clarfeld, has been highly ranked by Forbes and in 2017, Barron’s ranked him New York’s #1 Independent Wealth Advisor for the ninth-consecutive year.

Upon closing, Clarfeld will continue to operate under its current brand name and become a division of Citizens Bank Wealth Management. Citizens Bank Private Wealth Management will be integrated into Clarfeld. The addition of Clarfeld will enhance Citizens’ ability to provide a full suite of family office, investment, financial planning and tax and estate planning services for existing and new clients.

The transaction is expected to close late this year or early next year, subject to customary closing terms and conditions and regulatory approval. Silver Lane Advisors LLC acted as financial advisor to Citizens. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to Citizens. Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP acted as legal advisor to Clarfeld on the transaction.


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