Citizens Bank has hired roughly 50 senior private bankers from First Republic to help the Providence, Rhode Island-based lender build out its wealth-management presence and scale its business banking footprint.
“These talented professionals were attracted to Citizens because of our strong customer orientation, our commitment to collaborating and delivering the best the bank has to offer, our entrepreneurial spirit, and our strong business and technology capabilities,” Brendan Coughlin, Citizens’ vice chairman and head of consumer banking, said in a press release Friday.
Citizens has been transparent in its desire to grow amid the recent failures of a handful of regional banks. It submitted bids to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for both Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic but lost out each time — first to Raleigh, North Carolina-based First Citizens, and then to JPMorgan Chase.
Citizens has also been upfront with its ambition to grow in wealth management. The bank last year acquired certain assets and liabilities of New Hampshire-based Paladin Advisors, and in 2019 acquired Clarfeld Financial Advisors.
“We’ve made no secret that we’re seeking other wealth platforms,” Citizens CEO Bruce Van Saun told American Banker in 2021.
The First Republic hires are meant to help Citizens establish a wider presence in metropolitan New York, Boston and Florida, and add new commercial-banking capabilities on the West Coast, the bank said.
“These teams have a demonstrated track record of delivering a truly differentiated white glove client experience that is second to none, which will create long-term customer loyalty across attractive growth areas,” Coughlin said.
Citizens is hardly the first to hire away bankers by the dozens from institutions that faltered between March and May.
HSBC announced in April it had hired 42 investment bankers from Silicon Valley Bank to establish a new practice aimed at courting tech, healthcare and venture capital clients.
That effort, though, rankled SVB’s buyer, First Citizens. The North Carolina bank sued HSBC in May, claiming SVB’s former head of tech and healthcare banking in North America — who had joined HSBC just before SVB failed — identified six executives HSBC could poach, inferred that 35 other bankers could be persuaded to follow and detailed $1.3 billion in profits the bank could gain in the years after the team was established.
MUFG in April hired Silicon Valley Bank’s former head of corporate banking and four other ex-SVB senior executives to bolster its technology, media and telecommunications unit.
Smaller banks are making strides, too. Miami Lakes, Florida-based BankUnited in May hired three former First Republic bankers in a bid to grow its corporate-banking presence in the New York City area.