financial services

Oppenheimer, RBS Citizens reach deal

OPPENHEIMER HOLDINGS IInc. reached a client-referral agreement with RBS Citizens Financial Group Inc. to share middle-market clients for some services.
Posted 7/24/12

NEW YORK - Oppenheimer Holdings Inc., the investment bank run by Albert “Bud” Lowenthal, reached a client-referral agreement with RBS Citizens Financial Group Inc. to share middle-market clients for some services.

Citizens, a unit of Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, will refer customers seeking financial advisory and equity capital markets services to New York-based Oppenheimer’s broker-dealer unit, the firms said yesterday in an emailed statement. Oppenheimer & Co., in turn, will refer customers needing traditional banking products and services to Citizens.

Oppenheimer has raised more than $85 billion through 150 equity or equity-linked transactions for middle-market clients since 2004, according to the statement. Providence-based Citizens has commercial-banking relationships with more than 3,000 U.S. middle-market firms. More companies are exploring strategic transactions, including acquisitions, said Robert Matthews, head of commercial banking at Citizens.

“We focused on the two areas of financial advisory and equity capital markets because those were areas that we saw as imminent needs of our customers,” Matthews said in a phone interview. “It was a nice dovetailing of interests and capabilities that brought us together.”

His firm looked “extensively” for a referral-program partner, and Oppenheimer kept coming up because of its history of serving middle-market customers, Matthews said. Citizens defines middle-market as commercial and industrial companies with $5 million to $2 billion in annual sales.

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