Silicon Valley Bank just made an even bigger push into wealth management

SVB Financial Group agreed today to buy Boston Private Financial Holdings in Boston for $900 million in cash and stock.

It’s a big deal for SVB, which has earned a reputation over its 37-year history as a bank that’s friendly to startups, as well as venture and private equity investors. Boston Private, founded in 1987, has roughly $16.3 billion in assets under management, compared with SVB Asset Management’s $1.4 billion in related assets.

SVB, which formed its wealth advisory business in 2011, has been pushing more aggressively into wealth management for several years, hiring Yvonne Butler, who’d previously led wealth strategies at Capital One, in the middle of 2018.

Butler has since been adding members to the bank’s wealth management team, telling Business Insider last year of the job that “I see my job primarily as a retention strategy . . .Clients are already here. We’ve helped them grow their fund or business — and I see our role as private bank and wealth advisory as retaining.”

Underscoring SVB’s bid to strengthen its relationship with wealthy individuals who already have business dealings with the bank, Greg Becker, its president and CEO, said today in a release about the new tie-up: “Our clients rely on us to help increase the probability of their success — both in their business and personal lives.”

Butler will lead the combined private banking and wealth management business with Anthony DeChellis, who has been the CEO of Boston Private for the last two years. DeChellis joined the outfit after a short stint as president of the crowdfunding platform OurCrowd and before that, as the CEO of Credit Suisse Private Banking (Americas) for more than seven years.

As part of the deal, Boston Private shareholders will receive 0.0228 shares of SVB common stock and $2.10 of cash for each of their shares.

Bank stocks were generally battered in 2020, but as the Boston Globe notes, SVB’s stock is up more than 60% over the past three years because of its focus on the tech world, while Boston Private’s shares have fallen by 45%

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