OceanFirst Financial acquires securities agency from Wall Twp.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. announced on Thursday that it was acquiring a majority stake in Wall Township-based Trident Abstract Title Agency LLC, with the right to acquire 100%.

The transaction is expected to close on March 1. Upon closing, Trident will operate as an independent subsidiary of OceanFirst.

Family-owned and operated since 1975, Trident’s current owners, Chris Carton and Derrick Scenna, will continue to manage day-to-day operations. Trident underwrites title insurance through all major underwriters nationwide and, through strategic alliances, can also meet the title insurance needs of clients outside of New Jersey.

“The acquisition of Trident is a natural step for OceanFirst that provides our customers with the opportunity for a significantly enhanced borrowing experience,” OceanFirst President and CEO Christopher Maher said in a prepared statement. “OceanFirst clients will have the option of working with a preferred title partner which should allow for faster and easier loan closings.

“Furthermore, the addition of new revenue streams will provide a quality source of non-interest income for the benefit of OceanFirst shareholders.”

Scenna said, “We are excited to join OceanFirst to complement the bank’s already robust and growing lending platform. Trident has grown with OceanFirst over the past 20 years, and this was an ideal next progression for our business.

Turk & Co. served as financial advisor to OceanFirst Financial Corp. and Giordano, Halleran & Cielsa PC served as legal counsel. Collins, Vella & Casello LLC served as Trident’s legal counsel.

OceanFirst Financial Corp.’s subsidiary, OceanFirst Bank NA, founded in 1902, is an $11.7 billion regional bank providing financial services throughout New Jersey and major metropolitan markets.