Live Oak Bancshares is used to finding opportunities, but the Wilmington, N.C., company’s latest expansion came about after it was contacted by two experienced lenders.

The $2.2 billion-asset company has hired Lisa Forrest and Heather Endresen, who recently left Banc of California, to create a group to finance clients’ mergers and acquisitions. The decision, which came months after the bankers approached Live Oak with a pitch to form the business, allowed Live Oak to formalize a service it was already offering on a case-by-case basis.

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