Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF), the investment bank known for snapping up regional rivals and Wall Street castoffs, agreed to buy Eaton Partners to add ties with hedge funds, private-equity firms and high-net-worth family offices.

Financial service deals have been picking up in the middle-market lately. Financial Engines Inc. (Nasdaq: FNGN) is buying the Mutual Fund Store LLC from Warburg Pincus and Investcorp is purchasing Ssaris Advisors LLC’s hedge fund of funds division.  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.

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