Washington, D.C. — Industry veterans Christopher Olsen and Brian Palmer announced today the formation of Olsen Palmer LLC (“Olsen Palmer”), an independent investment banking firm that focuses exclusively on community banks.

Olsen Palmer will provide strategic and transactional advice across the full spectrum of strategic options and transactional structures including whole-bank sales or acquisitions, mergers-of-equals, branch sales or acquisitions, FDIC-assisted transactions, fairness opinions, whole company-, asset-, and branch valuations, as well as Board-level strategic planning.

“The community banking industry has changed dramatically in the aftermath of the financial crisis,” said Mr. Olsen. “Community bank CEOs and Boards of Directors now face unique and complex economic, regulatory, and operational challenges. As a result, enhancing shareholder value has never been more difficult and the importance of fully understanding the entire range of available strategic options has never been greater. Accordingly, we formed Olsen Palmer to be better-positioned to help our clients build long-term value by providing independent, informed strategic and transactional advice.”

Olsen Palmer was specifically formed to fill a void in meeting the advisory needs of community banks. Mr. Palmer explained, “We designed our firm to avoid the inherent conflicts and lack of senior-level attention common among many of our competitors. At the same time, we deliver robust, community bank-specific transaction experience that smaller firms, generalists, and consultants simply cannot provide.”

Christopher Olsen has focused exclusively on advising financial services companies for the entirety of his career. Before founding Olsen Palmer, Mr. Olsen was with Milestone Advisors where he served as Managing Director and head of the firm’s Southeast U.S. Bank & Thrift M&A practice. Prior to joining Milestone, Mr. Olsen was with Hovde Financial where he managed the firm’s Southeast U.S. Bank & Thrift M&A practice. Mr. Olsen has also worked in the Financial Institutions Group of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking division as well as for First Annapolis Consulting, a financial advisory and management consulting firm. He began his career working for banks, first at Norwest Bank (now Wells Fargo) and then for a 3-branch community bank. Mr. Olsen holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BBA in Finance from The George Washington University.

Before founding Olsen Palmer, Brian Palmer served as Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Bank of America, where he focused on strategic initiatives within the Merchant Services division. Prior to joining Bank of America, Mr. Palmer was with Parson Brinckerhoff, a global management consulting firm providing financial and strategic advisory services to infrastructure project developers and investors. Mr. Palmer began his career with First Annapolis Consulting, a management consulting and M&A advisory firm that focuses on the financial services, payments, and financial technology sectors. Mr. Palmer earned a Master of Science in Finance from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Maryland, where he graduated Cum Laude.