Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) is expanding with the acquisition of mid-market investment bank BlackArch Partners.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based BlackArch provides M&A advisory services to private equity firms and other companies. The firm's founding partners: Will Cooper, Bram Hall, Kelly Katterhagen, Drew Quartapella, Matt Salisbury and Gordie Vap, will continue to lead the group. BlackArch will operate as a unit of Regions.

Recently, BlackArch advised on Sun Capital Partners Inc.'s deal for Curtiss-Wright's downstream oil and gas business, and JLL Partners' purchase of Point Blank, a maker of body armor for the military and other groups. Back in 2013, the firm opened a new office in Houston.

"The addition of BlackArch Partners will allow Regions to build scale and capabilities within the M&A advisory services space to meet more client needs while also diversifying and increasing non-interest revenue," says John Turner, head of Regions Corporate Banking Group.

Regions, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is a consumer and commercial bank that also provides wealth management, mortgage and insurance products.

Financial services remains one of the areas where dealmakers expect to see an expansion in M&A, according to Mergers & Acquisitions Mid-Market Pulse, a forward-looking sentiment indicator derived from monthly surveys of approximately 250 executives published in partnership with McGladrey LLP.

Other banks have made acquisitions to expand their mid-market M&A advisory services, including Houlihan Lokey, which picked up London-based consumer advisory group McQueen Ltd. earlier this year. More broadly in the sector, asset managers have proven a hot commodity, evidenced by NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc.'s NYSE: NSAM) $380 million deal for GTCR-backed the Townsend Group; and Hellman & Friedman LLC's planned purchase of a majority stake in Edelman Financial Services. 

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