Magazine article American Banker

Mutual-to-Stock Specialist Named Ryan Beck Director

Magazine article American Banker

Mutual-to-Stock Specialist Named Ryan Beck Director

Article excerpt

Ryan Beck & Co. was set to name a specialist in taking mutual thrift companies public as a managing director today.

Mark B. Cohen will be based in one of the Livingston, N.J., firm's New York offices and will work with the 25-person financial institutions group. He will report to Ben Plotkin, the chief executive officer.

The firm says it hopes Mr. Cohen, who has worked with more than 400 mutual thrifts and taken 110 of them public, will help it increase its profile in the sector. He will also help thrifts uncover capital-raising and merger and acquisition opportunities.

In a telephone interview last week, Mr. Plotkin said that Mr. Cohen's expertise should let Ryan Beck arrange larger, more complex deals.

Mr. Cohen, 57, will join Ryan Beck from Adams Cohen Venture Capital LLC, which he founded in 2001 after leaving the New York investment boutique firm Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP, which competes with Ryan Beck for thrift business. For six years he had been the Sandler principal who oversaw the unit handling conversions of savings institutions from mutual holding to public companies.

In a telephone interview last week, Mr. Cohen said that he was attracted to Ryan Beck's creativity in the thrift business. In particular, he cited a novel three-way deal it arranged for New Haven Savings Bank.

In that deal, announced in July, the $2.4 billion-asset New Haven said it would convert from mutual to public ownership and use the capital it raises to acquire Connecticut Bancshares Inc. and Alliance Bancorp of New England Inc. The acquisitions are expected to close in the first quarter. …

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