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First Foundation Bank acquires First Florida Integrity Bank of Naples

First Florida Integrity Bank

The largest independent bank headquartered in Naples was acquired Friday, enabling Dallas-based First Foundation Bank to expand into Southwest Florida. 

First Foundation Inc., a financial services company with two wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors and First Foundation Bank, acquired TGR Financial Inc. and its community bank subsidiary, First Florida Integrity Bank, a Florida state-chartered bank which has $2.3 billion in total assets and seven branch locations in the Naples area. 

“This acquisition positions us to serve clients from coast to coast and enhances our profile as a premier regional bank,” said Scott F. Kavanaugh, CEO of First Foundation Inc. “With the addition of approximately $1.1 billion in loans and $2.2 billion in deposits along with a team of experienced bankers, this is the largest acquisition in our bank’s history. We are excited for all of the great growth potential in the state of Florida.”

As part of the transaction, effective Dec. 17, First Foundation also announced that its board of directors appointed Gary L. Tice to serve as a director. Tice had previously served as CEO and chairman of the board of directors of TGR Financial. In addition, Garrett Richter, who was president of First Integrity, will assume the newly created position of market president, overseeing banking activities in Florida. 

“We have already started working with our talented new team members, and we expect a smooth integration as we begin serving our new clients,” Kavanaugh said. “I want to thank everyone who has worked tremendously hard to get us to where we are today and set us up for success as we plan to complete the full system conversion in the second quarter of 2022.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, each share of TGR Financial Inc. common stock and each share of TGR Financial Inc. preferred stock was converted into the right to receive 0.6068 of a share of First Foundation common stock.

Tice and Richter, both Naples residents, have capitalized on community banking in Southwest Florida over the last three decades before selling their bank franchises to larger banks in major transactions. After starting First National Bank of Florida in 1989, Tice and Richter sold their Naples-based bank to Fifth Third Bank for a record price of $1.5 billion in 2005. The local businessmen then started First National Bank of the Gulf Coast in 2009. In 2014, First National Bank of the Gulf Coast converted from a nationally chartered bank to a state-chartered bank and was renamed First Florida Integrity Bank.

First Foundation Inc., trading on NASDAQ as FFWM, is expanding its operations from coast to coast. The bank and its subsidiaries offer personal banking, business banking and private wealth management services, including investment, trust, insurance and philanthropy services. Its broad range of financial products and services offered are more consistent with those offered by larger financial institutions, while its high level of personalized service to clients is more aligned with community banks and boutique wealth management firms, the company reports.

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