In addition, Vernon Hill, chief executive at Commerce Bank, has resigned, raising speculation that the bank could be for sale. Should a deal happen, Fenech speculated that the cost involved of having to rebrand PA Commerce Bank could “lead them to consider a sale as well” -- which, given the valuation, could be beneficial for investors, he believes.
Fenech also recommended Valley National Bank, located in New Jersey and Manhattan. The bank has expansion plans into New York's Brooklyn and Queens boroughs.
“[Valley National is] the most valuable independent community banking fanchise in the tri-state area,” said Fenech. “The credit record here over time has been impeccable."
Fenech said that although he doesn’t consider the management to be particularly anxious to sell, the CEO of Valley National is almost 70 -- leading to speculation that the company might consider selling itself upon his retirement.
Although the stocks aren’t cheap, Valley National owns about half of its branches, signifying that many of the properties have a strong estate value. “It makes the valuation somewhat more palatable,” said Fenech.