Banks divested all kinds of assets over the last several years to comply with regulations put in place after the financial crisis. Now that the regulations may be dismantled through executive orders and other moves, traditional banks may have a renewed appetite for business lines they left years ago, inlcuding loans to middle-market companies. 

The specialty finance industry, broadly defined as financing outside the traditional banking system, is one sector that may see an uptick in M&A activity. Since the financial crisis in 2008, banks divested or closed leveraged-loan businesses to comply with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. 

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