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January 31, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, January 31, 2014 — John Dugan, the former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency and current chair of Covington’s financial institutions group, and J. D. Weinberg, a partner in the firm’s corporate and financial institutions practice groups, were featured speakers at the Bank Director’s 20th annual Acquire or Be Acquired Conference in Phoenix on Jan. 27. Their presentation addressed strategic mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector. Topics examined include the legal issues in merger of equals; the benefits of a strategic partnership; and what community bank boards, primarily in the $1 to $20 billion asset range, should consider and discuss when contemplating such a transaction. “Mergers of equals are possible, but supervisors will scrutinize them with heightened expectations – in the post-crisis regulatory environment, early consultation with regulators is critical to address issues and avoid delays,” Mr. Dugan said. “Mergers of equals, notwithstanding their challenges, have become increasingly popular in the banking industry in recent periods.,” Mr. Weinberg said. “This trend is reflective of the cautionary, but increasingly stronger, bank merger market. Furthermore, this particular structure can be a useful tool in an environment where market premiums and the use of cash as a currency remain challenging for many institutions.” Through interactive sessions and presentations, the Bank Director’s Acquire or Be Acquired Conference is designed to explore various acquisition strategies and financial growth options available to banks. The conference attracts hundreds of bank CEOs, CFOs, chairmen and outside directors, with more than 700 people in attendance last year.