BRADENTON, Fla. – Atlanta-based Jackson Securities LLC has called off its proposed merger with M.R. Beal & Co.

The two minority-owned firms announced last August that they had inked a deal, pending regulatory approval.

The merger reportedly was approved by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in mid-December, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Atlanta Life Financial Group acquired Jackson Securities in 2007, and had reached a deal to sell the investment bank in exchange for stock.

“It was just a situation where the two parties could not agree to terms so the transaction was terminated,” William Taggart, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta Life, said Friday.

Stanley Grayson, chief operating officer at New York-based M.R. Beal, said the two firms reached a “mutual decision not to go forward.” He declined to provide further details about why the deal fell through. M.R. Beal is still looking for opportunities to expand, and is in discussion with several firms, he said.

The board overseeing Atlanta Life is looking at a number of strategic options for the Jackson Securities brand, said Taggart. He would not discuss the options that are under consideration.

“We want to leverage the Jackson Securities name, which we think has good will in the markets,” he said, adding that it is hoped a prospective deal will have “significant upside potential” for the Atlanta Life Group.

Jackson is still listed as an active limited liability company with the Georgia Division of Corporations.

However, FINRA’s BrokerCheck system shows that Jackson Securities registration was withdrawn or terminated on Sept. 28, 2012.

Investment banks that buy or sell securities must be registered with FINRA.

Taggart said withdrawing the registration does not mean that Jackson is being dissolved, and he reiterated that Atlanta Life is looking for the best way to leverage the firm going forward.

“We hope to be able to bring something to the market when conditions warrant,” he said.

When asked how many employees are still working at Jackson Securities, Taggart said he would not comment about personnel.

According to information filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, Jackson Securities had 17 investment advisors and registered broker-dealer representatives.

Some of the bank’s employees are now working for M.R. Beal, which assumed Jackson’s office leases in Atlanta, Miami, and California.

Jackson’s former president, Bruce Gow, has been registered to work at M.R. Beal since Aug. 5, 2012, according to FINRA. Gow is in charge of the southeast region.

Jackson Securities was established in 1987 by the late Maynard H. Jackson, who was mayor of Atlanta from 1974 to 1982. He died in 2003.

Atlanta Life is a financial services company based in Atlanta. Its platform includes asset management and insurance. Investment banking was added when it purchased Jackson Securities in 2007.

Last year’s press release announcing the merger was still posted on the websites of Atlanta Life and Jackson Securities Friday.

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