b1BANK acquires Mississippi-based investment advisor

Business First Bancshares, the holding company for b1BANK, and Smith Shellnut Wilson LLC today announced the two companies have signed a definitive agreement under which b1BANK will acquire SSW. 

SSW is a registered investment advisor specializing in managing investment portfolios for corporations, foundations and individuals. The deal is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks. 

“B1BANK has worked closely with SSW since the day we chartered 15 years ago. We value the quantifiable impact they’ve had on the management of our investment portfolio,” says Jude Melville, president and CEO of b1BANK, in a prepared statement. “Bringing SSW under the b1BANK umbrella will allow us to expand the set of products and services we offer through our Financial Institutions Group.” 

SSW, which was founded in 1995, is headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi, and offers investment advisory services which include discretionary and non-discretionary management of investment portfolios for a variety of clients.

As of December 31, 2020, SSW reported $3.5 billion in assets under management, while b1BANK managed $235 million through its Wealth Solutions Division. Following consummation of the transaction, b1BANK expects to consolidate its Wealth Solutions Division with SSW and to continue to operate SSW as a subsidiary of b1BANK.

Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford LLP acted as legal adviser to B1BANK, while Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes PLLC advised SSW in the acquisition.