One of Miami’s oldest banks just announced a major acquisition

City National Bank’s founding branch in North Beach.
City National Bank’s founding branch in North Beach. For The Miami Herald

City National Bank, one of Miami’s oldest banks, announced Wednesday it would acquire Kendall-based Executive National Bank for an undisclosed sum.

City National, founded in the 1940s in North Beach and now based on West Flagler Street, has approximately $16 billion in assets. Executive National has just under half a billion. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

In an interview, City National CEO and president Jorge Gonzalez said even community banks must now possess significant scale to maintain market standing. Last year, CNB acquired Total Bank for $529 million to become the third-largest community bank in the state, with approximately 30 locations in south and central Florida. Over the past decade, the number of community banks in South Florida has been cut in half; only about 36 regional institutions are expected to remain following this acquisition.

“The demand for the right people, the right tech, and compliance are all going up,” Gonzalez said. “[Executive National] was a great fit for us.”

City National is a subsidiary of Chile’s Banco de Credito e Inversiones, Chile’s third-largest privately owned bank with more than $63 billion in assets. Having that kind of backing, Gonzalez said, will allow CNB to defend its market standing.

In a statement, Carlos Safie, president and CEO of Executive National Bank, credited CNB with building “deep community roots [and] long-lasting client relationships that often span generations.”

CNB was advised by Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P. and the law firm of Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Ferri LLP. Executive National Bank was advised by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., a Stifel Company, and the law firm of Smith MacKinnon, PA.