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Financial Institutions to acquire Courier Capital


Financial Institutions, the parent company of Five Star Bank and Scott Danahy Naylon Insurance, announced is to acquire Courier Capital, an SEC-registered investment advisory and wealth management firm based in western New York, with operations in Buffalo and Jamestown.

The acquisition is structured as a merger, with USD9 million (approximately 90 per cent payable in FISI common stock) payable at closing (subject to certain adjustments), with additional contingent consideration (also payable primarily in FISI common stock) expected between USD2.3 to USD5.0 million and related post-closing payments based on Courier’s achievement of certain growth objectives during the three year period following the closing. The acquisition is expected to be breakeven to moderately accretive to the earnings of Financial Institutions, Inc. in 2016.
Courier Capital offers customised investment management, investment consulting and retirement plan services to over 1,100 individuals, businesses and institutions. Courier Capital has more than USD1.2 billion in assets under management and is an advisor to an additional USD335 million of assets.
Courier was named to the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers list in each of the past two years since the ranking was established. The Financial Times, a globally recognised leader in financial and investment media, launched its inaugural Financial Times 300 list to recognise the top registered investment adviser firms across the US. The rankings are based on a firm’s assets under management, asset growth rate, years in existence, compliance record, industry certifications, and online accessibility.
“This transaction continues our implementation of strategic initiatives designed to diversify our revenue beyond interest income and create value for our shareholders. We welcome the entire Courier Capital team, and its premier base of clients, to the Financial Institutions, Inc. family,” says Martin K Birmingham, president and chief executive officer of Financial Institutions, Inc.
Birmingham adds: “This is the second key acquisition in as many years as part of our strategic growth plan. This growth plan centres on the efficient deployment of capital and the diversification of our operations to better capitalise on market opportunities in the largest metropolitan areas of western New York. The Courier Capital acquisition is an integral component in the expansion of our business lines, increasing our fee-based revenues and non-interest income, broadening our customer base, and providing increased value to our customers. 
“The acquisition also is representative of how the regional financial services landscape has been evolving with, we believe, Financial Institutions, Inc. at the forefront. With this trend in consolidation among all financial services industry constituents expected to continue for the foreseeable future, we are well positioned to offer our current and prospective customers a more comprehensive and improved experience delivered by a strong and growing local company.”
“We are very pleased to be joining the Financial Institutions family,” says Bruce Kaz, president of Courier Capital. “The impeccable reputation and integrity of Financial Institutions serves as a complement to the brand that has been built by Courier Capital, now in its third generation of owners/operators. In an increasingly complex and competitive market for financial services, we believe the needs of our clients as well as those of Five Star Bank and Scott Danahy Naylon Insurance are best served by the combination of our operational disciplines. Our conviction is evidenced by our management team becoming stakeholders in Financial Institutions, Inc., and our entire staff joining the growing Financial Institutions family.”
The transaction is subject to typical conditions to closing, and is expected to be completed in January of 2016. Upon closing of the acquisition, Courier will operate as a subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. and an affiliate of Five Star Bank and Scott Danahy Naylon. Courier will serve as the Company’s platform for continued growth of the wealth management business, and further strengthens its position as a leading diversified financial services provider in western New York.

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