The founders of FBC Mortgage in Orlando, Fla., have agreed to take over the mortgage lender as part of Stifel Financial's purchase of Sterne Agee Group.

Joe Nunziata, Sterne Agee's chief executive, and a group of FBC executives will buy the business for an undisclosed amount in a sale expected to close next month.

Stifel also said it is considering strategic options for Sterne Agee's institutional equity and investment banking business, which could include selling or spinning off the operation. Stifel said it had already received inquiries from "a number of suitable partners" about the business, which will operate as a standalone entity until a decision is made.

Stifel, of St. Louis, agreed on Monday to buy Sterne Agee, of Birmingham, Ala., for $150 million, or $51.55 a share, in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close in late spring.

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