SunTrust Banks (STI) Enters Agreement to Acquire Pillar Financial

October 20, 2016 8:32 AM EDT

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SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of the operating subsidiaries of Pillar Financial, LLC. The assets include Pillar's multi-family lending business, which is comprised of multi-family affordable housing, healthcare properties, senior housing, and manufactured housing specialty teams. The assets also include Chicago-based Cohen Financial's commercial real estate investor services business, offering loan administration and advisory services, as well as their mortgage banking business. Pillar is one of a select group of independent Agency lenders that holds licenses with all three agencies: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. The acquisition of the Agency multi-family lender strategically expands the commercial real estate capabilities of SunTrust.

"This acquisition will enhance our commercial real estate platform by providing our clients with full access to the Agency programs currently licensed to Pillar. In addition, SunTrust will offer Pillar clients access to a number of expanded products and capabilities including bridge loans, equity for affordable housing developments, and a full suite of capital markets capabilities through SunTrust Robinson Humphrey," said Mark Chancy, SunTrust Wholesale Banking executive.

"SunTrust and Pillar make a fantastic combination since there is very little overlap in our capabilities, yet there is tremendous synergy and compatibility. Our management team is energized to serve our clients with the significant product offerings of SunTrust," said Anand Gajjar, CEO and senior managing director of Pillar Financial, LLC.

Following completion of the acquisition, the Pillar team will join the SunTrust Commercial Real Estate (CRE) line of business, which is part of the Wholesale Banking Segment. Gajjar will report to Kathy Farrell, Commercial Real Estate executive. CRE provides banking and capital markets solutions to commercial real estate developers, owners and operators on a national and regional basis through its SunTrust Community Capital, REIT, Institutional Real Estate, Homebuilder, Regional CRE, and Real Estate Investment Banking platforms.

The transaction is expected to close before year-end, subject to receiving Agency approvals and satisfying other closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey served as financial advisor to SunTrust for this transaction. Beekman Advisors acted as the strategic advisor for Pillar.

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