Simmons First National in Pine Bluff, Ark., has agreed to buy Ozark Trust and Investment Corp. in Springfield, Mo.

The $7.8 billion-asset Simmons First said in a press release Thursday that it will pay $20.7 million in cash and stock for Ozark Trust, a non-depository institution that offers investment management and trust services. The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter, should be immediately accretive to Simmons First's earnings per share.

Ozark Trust, which has $1.1 billion in assets under management and more than 1,300 clients, is Simmons First's first purchase of a fee-only financial firm. The company, however, has acquired several banks in recent years.

"Wealth management is an important growth business for us, and we are excited about this strategic opportunity," said George Makris Jr., Simmons First's chairman and chief executive. "This acquisition … enhances our existing wealth management product offering, provides us with a talented and creative team of wealth management professionals who have built and grown a successful business and expands our presence in the important southwest Missouri market."

Simmons First already owned 1,000 shares of Ozark Trust's stock, which it obtained through its February acquisition of Liberty Bancshares.

Simmons First was advised by Sterne Agee and Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull, while Pohl Consulting and Training performed an account-level review of the seller. Ozark Trust was advised by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Wieland & Condry.

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