ARCANE STRATEGY? "It was normal for your bank to get bought and, two or three years later, sit around a kitchen table, decide to start a bank, plot to get local shareholders," Timothy Chrisman, principal of executive search firm Chrisman & Co. "It was the process of community banking and that has changed dramatically."

How the De Novo Drought Is (Mostly) Hurting M&A

New charters were once an integral piece of the bank M&A food chain, allowing bankers to start anew after selling their institutions. Do novo banking has all but dried up, and the dearth of startups has made executives hesitant to sell their banks.

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