OceanFirst Financial acquires title agency in Wall Twp.

Christopher Maher.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. on Thursday said it is acquiring a majority interest 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 the daily operations. Trident writes title insurance through all of the nation’s leading underwriters and, through strategic alliances, can also service client’s title insurance needs outside of New Jersey.

“The acquisition of Trident is a natural step for OceanFirst that provides our clients an opportunity for a substantially improved borrowing experience,” OceanFirst Chairman and CEO Christopher Maher said in a prepared statement. “OceanFirst clients will have the option of working with a preferred title partner that should provide for faster and more straight-forward loan closings.

“In addition, adding new revenue streams will provide a quality source of non-interest income to benefit OceanFirst stockholders.”

Scenna said: “We are thrilled to join OceanFirst as a complement to 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 adviser 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 N.A., founded in 1902, is an $11.7 billion regional bank providing financial services throughout New Jersey and in the major metropolitan markets.