Fifth Third beefs up investment bank with health care acquisition

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Continuing its recent spate of acquisitions of fee-based businesses, Fifth Third Bancorp has agreed to buy Coker Capital Advisors, a health care M&A advisory firm focused on midsize companies.

The price of the deal was not disclosed. Under the agreement, Coker’s five-person leadership team, which is based in Atlanta, Charlotte and New York, would report to Rob Schipper, head of investment banking at Fifth Third.

The deal, announced Monday, will allow Fifth Third to expand its M&A advisory services in one of the economy’s fastest-growing sectors, the Cincinnati company said in a press release. The deal is expected to close this quarter.

“The addition of Coker Capital Advisors to our team build upon the strength of our health care vertical, the largest at Fifth Third,” said Lars Anderson, chief operating officer at Fifth Third, in the release. He also complimented Coker on its “client-first culture” and “strong focus on the middle market.”

It would be the fifth nonbank acquisition in the past year for Fifth Third, as it looks for ways to increase fee-based income. The $142 billion-asset company has relied on acquisitions to bolster its investment advisory, insurance and human resources consulting divisions.

With the addition of Coker, Fifth Third’s investment banking and M&A would have more than 40 employees, covering the retail, industrial, petroleum and technology sectors, in addition to health care.

“Coker Capital Advisors’ concentrated expertise in the complex health care industry will add significant value to our team through their experience and results,” Anderson said.

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M&A Investment banking Fee income Fifth Third Bancorp