M.R. Beal and Jackson Securities Announce Merger Agreement

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Combination of two of the leading minority owned investment banking firms provides strong national platform for growth

M.R. Beal & Company, a New York based leading investment banking firm specializing in municipal finance, corporate finance and equity execution and Jackson Securities LLC, an Atlanta Georgia based subsidiary of Atlanta Life Financial Group announced today an agreement, subject to regulatory approval, to combine forces and establish an expanded investment banking firm. By joining forces these two well established minority owned enterprises will establish a template for the future expansion and integration of similar firms onto their expanded investment banking platform.

M.R. Beal & Company is a leading African-American owned investment firm founded in 1988 by its CEO, Bernard B. Beal. M.R. Beal is a solution driven firm that has an enviable record and reputation in the marketplace for providing its clients outstanding execution in the municipal, corporate and equity markets. By combining with Jackson Securities, a firm founded in 1987 by the late-former Mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson, and acquired by Atlanta Life in 2007, this consolidated platform will gain a significant presence in the Southeastern region of the United States as well as tremendous name recognition around the country especially among issuers and in geographic areas that Jackson Securities has done business in the past. This reputational goodwill combined with the staffing, leadership and management prowess of Jackson Securities president, W. Bruce Gow and the M.R. Beal leadership team lead by CEO Bernard B. Beal and COO Stanley E. Grayson will facilitate the seamless and efficient integration of these two highly experienced firms. In addition to Beal’s presence being expanded in New York, Illinois, Texas and California where they currently have offices, with the consolidation of Jackson Securities, its footprint will be enlarged further by adding offices in Georgia and Florida which represent two other strategically important new geographic business target areas.

"This consolidation of these two well established firms represents the integration of strong equity sales and trading departments, the melding of two solid equity execution platforms and the opportunity to leverage the well regarded municipal finance relationships and track records of both firms to broader geographic markets" said Bernard B. Beal, M.R. Beal's CEO.

“The core competencies of each firm will create a more balanced business model with extended geographical reach that will benefit our clients, business partners and shareholders alike” said William J. Taggart, President and CEO of Atlanta Life Financial Group. “We are very excited about the upside potential of the new firm and will seek other like-minded partners for future expansion.”

About M.R. Beal
Founded in 1988, M.R. Beal is a leading investment bank specializing in municipal and corporate finance, taxable and tax-exempt fixed income sales and trading, and equity sales and trading. Based in New York, the firm participated in $297 billion of municipal underwritings in 2011 and continues to rank among the top 20 underwriters of municipal securities worldwide.

M.R. Beal & Company is one of the nation’s oldest and most established minority-owned investment banking firms. The firm has participated in a number of the largest IPO's in history, representing an equity volume exceeding $23 billion to date. M.R. Beal's institutional clients include a wide array of leading U.S. corporations, as well as state and local government and not-for-profit entities. In addition to its New York headquarters, M.R. Beal also has offices in Chicago, Sacramento, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

About Jackson Securities
Jackson Securities, founded in 1987 by the late, former Mayor of Atlanta, Maynard H. Jackson, is a full-service, minority-owned broker dealer that provides a broad spectrum of services to clients throughout the United States. Jackson Securities has been a registered broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission since June 1987 and a registered broker-dealer with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board since March 1990.

In 2007 a majority interest in Jackson Securities was acquired by the Atlanta Life Financial Group, a 107 year-old MBE business, and the largest minority, and stock-owned insurance company in the nation. The Atlanta Life / Jackson Securities transaction created a full-service, minority-owned, financial services company integrating corporate reinsurance, asset management, and investment banking.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Jackson Securities also has offices in New York, Red Bank (NJ), Stamford (CT), Miami, and San Francisco.

Jackson Securities is certified by numerous local and national issuers as a minority-owned (MBE) broker-dealer, and is recognized as one of the best, small, national firms in the investment banking industry, irrespective of size or ownership.

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Stanley Grayson
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