Banking is still a relationship business, and that includes mergers and acquisitions.

Bryn Mawr Bank (BMTC) on Monday agreed to buy Continental Bank Holdings in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., for $109 million. During a conference call to discuss the deal, Ted Peters, Bryn Mawr's chairman and chief executive, disclosed that he once worked with H. Wayne Griest, Continental's president and CEO.

Geist and Peters cut their teeth at Hamilton Bank in West Chester, Pa., in the 1980s, Peters said during the call. After leaving Hamilton, "we traveled the same route through management" at other banks, Peters added. "The fact that Wayne is [at Continental] gives us a lot of confidence" about the merger.

Peters also said he has known Kirk Wycoff, a veteran bank investor and Continental's chairman, for a long time. Those personal and professional connections are "among the reasons we had conversations" with Continental, Peters said.

"When we were negotiating with them we knew we were negotiating with sophisticated people who know what they are doing," Peters added.

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