Daily News: August 9, 2018

WSFS Financial Merges with Beneficial Bancorp


WSFS Financial and Beneficial Bancorp signed a definitive agreement in which WSFS Financial will combine with Beneficial Bancorp in a transaction valued at approximately $1.5 billion.

Concurrently with the acquisition, Beneficial Bank, the wholly owned subsidiary of Beneficial, will merge into WSFS Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of WSFS, creating the largest, premier, locally-headquartered community bank for the Greater Delaware Valley with the sixth-largest deposit market share, with approximately $13 billion in assets and growing.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close during Q1/19. Upon completion of the acquisition, Gerard P. Cuddy, President and CEO of Beneficial, will become Vice Chairman of WSFS Bank and will join the Boards of Directors of WSFS Financial and WSFS Bank along with two mutually agreed upon current directors of Beneficial’s Board.

WSFS Bank and Beneficial Bank share similar histories, missions, heritages and footprints. WSFS Bank was founded as Wilmington Savings Fund Society in Wilmington, DE in 1832, for working citizens to encourage thrift and to safeguard their savings. Beneficial was founded in 1853 in Philadelphia, as Beneficial Savings Fund Society to provide a safe and secure place for immigrants to deposit their savings.

“This is an historic combination,” said WSFS’ Chairman, President and CEO Mark A. Turner, who will become WSFS’ Executive Chairman on January 1, 2019. “As a native Philadelphian and a lifelong resident of the Delaware Valley, I believe this combination provides a compelling opportunity to serve our combined markets as it fills a long-standing gap between big banks and smaller community banks in this market. Together, we are poised and positioned to serve Customers, to capture good market share, to expand the reach of our proven successful business model, and to deliver sustainable high performance for years to come.”

Gerard P. Cuddy, president and CEO of Beneficial said, “We strongly believe there is value in partnering with WSFS and combining the strengths of our institutions. This is a sound decision for Beneficial, our stockholders, our employees and the communities we serve. We are combining with WSFS because it is an established institution with deep roots in the Delaware Valley, shares our values, and has the utmost respect for Beneficial’s legacy.”

“We are excited to be joining WSFS,” added Frank A. Farnesi, Beneficial’s chairman. “It’s a superior financial services company that has consistently delivered outstanding value to its stockholders. The combination of these two banking franchises will create a financial powerhouse uniquely dedicated to the customers and communities of the Delaware Valley.”

“This partnership and our delivery transformation aligns with our Strategic Plan,” said longtime Delaware Valley banker Rodger Levenson, WSFS’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer who will become President and CEO of WSFS on January 1, 2019. “Our combination with Beneficial creates the ideal opportunity to transform WSFS’ Customer delivery and back office systems that will secure our competitive edge in a fast-changing financial services industry. This combination and the complementary technological investment aligns with WSFS’ proven strategy of accelerating investment spending over the short-term to deliver superior long-term returns for WSFS Owners. Our combined organization, with over 350 years of banking history, better positions us to continue to serve and outperform for all of our constituents, and vaults us past the $10 billion Dodd-Frank threshold in an economical way.”