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First Republic Bank Acquires Gradifi

First Republic Bank, December 12, 2016

Leading student loan repayment platform provides innovative employer benefit to help attract and retain talent

First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), today announced it has acquired Gradifi Inc., a Boston-based student loan repayment technology platform to assist the nation's 44 million student loan borrowers.

Gradifi pioneered the SLP PlanTM (Student Loan Paydown), a technology and service platform used by employers to make direct contributions to employees’ student loans, reducing their overall repayment time and lowering the total cost of the loan. This employee benefit is becoming increasingly popular among employers to help attract and retain key talent, particularly Millennials who are now the largest generation in the workforce and are uniquely burdened by student debt. Gradifi operates a very user-friendly and secure online platform to handle such benefit programs. 

Gradifi serves many employer clients from small businesses to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Natixis Global Asset Management, and Penguin Random House. 

“We completely support Gradifi’s mission in assisting with the country’s student loan challenge,” said Jim Herbert, Chairman and CEO of First Republic Bank.  “They have become a market leader with their outstanding team, innovative repayment programs, and state-of-the-art technology.  As education costs and student loan debt continue to rise, offering a student loan repayment benefit for employees is increasingly valuable. Companies are realizing the power of a student loan repayment assistance benefit for both recruiting and retaining employees. As such, Gradifi has a terrific opportunity to assist companies and their employees.”  

First Republic is committed to helping individuals and families manage student debt through both innovative refinance and repayment solutions. Earlier this year, First Republic implemented a student loan repayment assistance benefit for its employees, utilizing the Gradifi platform. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from employees, and First Republic has since increased the value of the benefit even further.

“First Republic is the perfect partner to help Gradifi meet the growing demand for our student loan repayment solutions,” said Gradifi Founder and CEO Tim DeMello.  “In addition to its commitment to help manage student debt, First Republic’s focus on extraordinary client service aligns with our approach.  With client satisfaction ratings that are on par with the world’s most respected brands, First Republic has the commitment to service and entrepreneurial culture, plus the financial resources, to power our growth strategy.”

Gradifi, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Republic Bank, will continue to operate under the Gradifi brand.  Founder Tim DeMello will remain the company’s Chief Executive Officer, with extended employment contracts in place for him and several other senior management members.  As part of this acquisition, Gradifi will remain headquartered in Boston and have employees based in New York, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Francisco.  

The transaction was funded by First Republic Bank with cash on hand.  Impact to earnings or capital is currently not material, and further terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.  Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor to First Republic on the transaction.

About First Republic Bank

Founded in 1985, First Republic and its subsidiaries offer private banking, private business banking and private wealth management, including investment, trust and brokerage services. First Republic specializes in delivering exceptional, relationship-based service, with a commitment to responsiveness and action. Services are offered through preferred banking or wealth management offices primarily in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland, Boston, New York City, Greenwich and Palm Beach. First Republic offers a complete line of banking and wealth management services for individuals and businesses. For more information, visit www.firstrepublic.com.

About Gradifi 

Gradifi is a Boston-based student loan pay down provider with the first innovative solution to the nation's $1.3 trillion student loan debt problem. The company was founded in 2014 and is led by a management team that brings decades of combined experience in consumer financial services and entrepreneurial ventures. By partnering with companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers to develop employer SLP Plans™ (Student Loan Paydown), rewards programs and brand loyalty programs, Gradifi is shifting the focus on student loan debt - from burden to empowerment. To learn more about Gradifi, visit https://www.gradifi.com/ or twitter.com/gradifi.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this press release that are not historical facts are hereby identified as “forward-looking statements” for the purpose of the safe harbor provided by Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any statements about our expectations, beliefs, plans, predictions, forecasts, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not historical facts and may be forward-looking. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “can,” “could,” “may,” “predicts,” “potential,” “should,” “will,” “estimates,” “plans,” “projects,” “continuing,” “ongoing,” “expects,” “intends” and similar words or phrases and include statements about economic performance in our markets, growth in our loan originations and wealth management assets, our progress in preparing for, and our compliance with, any enhanced regulatory requirements, and our projected tax rate. Accordingly, these statements are only predictions and involve estimates, known and unknown risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in them.  All forward-looking statements are necessarily only estimates of future results, and there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from expectations, and, therefore, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Any forward looking-statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the factors discussed in First Republic’s FDIC filings, including, but not limited to, the risk factors in First Republic’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. These filings are available in the Investor Relations section of our website. Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Gradifi Contacts

Inquiry:
Meera Oliva
moliva@gradifi.com
(857) 284-7859

Media:
Elizabeth Yekhtikian
Gradifi@inkhouse.com
(617) 686-9541


First Republic Contacts

Investors:
Andrew Greenebaum / Lasse Glassen
Addo Communications
andrewg@addocommunications.com  
lasseg@addocommunications.com
(310) 829-5400

Media:
Greg Berardi
Blue Marlin Partners
greg@bluemarlinpartners.com
(415) 239-7826