SunTrust Banks Inc. on Monday said it has agreed to buy Asset Management Advisors, a Jupiter, Fla., wealth management firm, in an effort to expand its presence in the Florida affluent market.

The 11-year-old Asset Management Advisors, which has a network of 25 financial advisers based in Jupiter; Jackson, Wyo.; and Philadelphia, would continue to operate under its own name and current management, SunTrust said. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

William H. Rogers Jr., executive vice president and head of private-client services at SunTrust, the nation's ninth-largest commercial banking company, said in a press statement that the deal "furthers SunTrust's high-net-worth line of business strategy and enhances our ability to serve this market."

The Florida firm manages $1 billion of assets. Atlanta-based SunTrust, which calls itself the largest private bank in Florida, has about $130 billion of trust assets and $90 billion of discretionary assets under management.

Analysts said the deal would increase SunTrust's presence in Florida.

"It is part of their strategy to want to build up the asset management side of the business. Clearly, that is one of their key niches," said Lana Chan, an analyst at CIBC World Markets in New York. "But as to how much this particular deal will add, that is still to be determined."

"Depending on whom you talk to, SunTrust or Northern Trust is the largest in private clients in Florida," said Lori B. Appelbaum, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co., "and there is a constant competition to be the best. This acquisition enhances their capabilities and distribution in the Florida market."

SunTrust is the latest in a line of banking companies to make deals for boutique asset management firms in an effort to improve their fee income.

The Georgia company's first-quarter per-share earnings rose 5.7% from a year earlier, to $337.5 million, while fee income grew 9%, to $469 million.

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