First Republic Bank in San Francisco has bought Gradifi, a two-year old firm that works with small and large companies to help their employees pay down student debt.

The $68 billion-asset bank said in a news release Monday that Gradifi will continue to operate at its Boston headquarters under the same brand name. Founder Tim DeMello will remain the company's chief executive, "with extended employment contracts in place for him and several other senior management members," according to the bank.

The terms of the cash deal were not disclosed. Greenhill & Co. advised First Republic.

Gradifi administers student loan assistance as an employee benefit. First Republic said that it used the company's platform to implement a student loan repayment assistance benefit for its employees earlier this year.

Jim Herbert, the chairman and chief executive at First Republic Bank, said in the release that Gradifi has used "its innovative repayment programs and state-of-the-art technology," to fill an important need in the marketplace. "As education costs and student loan debt continue to rise, offering a student loan repayment benefit for employees is increasingly valuable," Herbert said.

Gradifi's clients include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Natixis Global Asset Management and Penguin Random House. The company in June announced a partnership with Citizens Financial Group in Providence, R.I., under which Citizens has the exclusive right to refinance student loans of borrowers who use Gradifi's platform.

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