Citizens Financial entered a definitive agreement to purchase certain assets of Bowstring Advisors (formerly CHILDS Advisory Partners), an Atlanta-based merger and acquisition advisory firm that delivers a range of financial services to commercial and industrial clients nationwide.

The transaction, which follows several other recent additions of key industry talent, products and solutions, will further strengthen Citizens’ advisory capabilities, as well as its presence in the Southwest.

“Clients view Citizens as a trusted partner committed to delivering complete solution sets, quality execution and excellent service throughout their business life cycle,” said Donald McCree, vice chairman and head of Citizens Commercial Banking. “We continue to move decisively to broaden our capabilities. The addition of the highly regarded Bowstring team more than doubles our M&A advisory business with deep knowledge in key industry sectors such as healthcare, technology and business services, while strengthening our coverage nationally and further enhancing our ability to deliver for our clients.”

“We share Citizens’ ambition to build robust advisory capabilities, as well as their commitment to exceptional client solutions. We look forward to delivering Citizens’ broad set of capital markets capabilities to our growing client base,” said Bowstring CEO Jim Childs, who founded the firm in 2009.

Bowstring will become part of Citizens Capital Markets, complementing Western Reserve Partners, which was acquired in 2017. The addition of the Bowstring team will also accelerate the build out of Citizens’ M&A and financial advisory capabilities.

Citizens’ recently released eighth annual “Middle Market M&A Outlook” noted a strong appetite among midsized companies for growth through M&A.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to Bowstring receiving FINRA approval and will be funded with cash. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Debevoise & Plimpton acted as legal advisor to Citizens, while Morris Manning & Martin acted as legal advisor to Bowstring.