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Synergy Financial Group in Towson acquires 1st Mariner Financial Services

Synergy Financial Group, a Towson financial services firm, has acquired 1st Mariner Bank's investment services business.

Under the deal, Synergy Financial Group will take over management of 1st Mariner Financial Services Inc.'s 1,200 clients effective immediately. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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"SFG has built a strong team here in Maryland, and the 1,200 new client relationships we have from 1st Mariner Financial Services will be a great fit for the existing advisors on our team," said Larry Leitch, a co-founder and Partner at Synergy Financial Group, in a statement.

Shedding its investment services business allows 1st Mariner, under new leadership since it was bought in court-supervised auction in 2014, to focus on strengthening other divisions.

"By transitioning our Financial Services Division to Synergy Financial Group, 1st Mariner is better able to focus our resources on the bank's core areas of expertise: providing the best business and personal banking products with unbeatable personalized customer service," said Rob Kunisch, president and chief operating officer at 1st Mariner Bank, in a statement.

Kunisch was part of a group that bought 1st Mariner for $18.7 million in a 2014 court-supervised auction, after the bank filed for bankruptcy. Founded in 1995 by trucking executive Edwin F. Hale Sr., 1st Mariner struggled for years to recover after the housing bubble collapsed, but was unable to right itself.

The bank's new leadership has focused on growth through small business loans, mortgages and retail customers.

First Mariner now has about $1 billion in assets. The bank has 300 employees and 14 branch locations in Baltimore City, and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard counties.

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