Stifel Financial Corp. has agreed to buy Ryan Beck Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Stifel, an investment banker and broker in St. Louis, Mo., says it expects to close the deal during the first quarter.

Ryan Beck, Florham Park, N.J., is an investment banker to individuals, institutions, and corporate clients through 1,000 employees in 40 offices located in 14 states. Its private client group has about 400 financial consultants, principally in the Mid-Atlantic, managing over $19 billion in assets.

Stifel agreed to pay 2.5 million shares of its common stock, valued at $36 under terms of the deal, or a combination of stock plus cash valued at up to 150,000 shares.

The agreement also includes incentive payments to Ryan Beck executives based on revenues for the 2-year period following closing. Stifel also agreed to establish a program to retain Ryan Beck executives, which it valued at about $42 million.