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Center Bancorp, Inc. Receives National Recognition



Center Bancorp, Inc. Receives National Recognition

UNION, N.J., Sept. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc.
(Nasdaq:CNBC) (or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank
("UCNB" or "the Bank"), is pleased to announce that it has been named to the
exclusive Sandler O'Neill + Partners L.P, "2013 Sm-All Stars" list for the
second consecutive year and third time overall as a top performing publicly
traded Bank in the nation.

Sandler O'Neill evaluated all 450 publicly traded banks and thrifts with a
market capitalization of less than $2.5 billion and identified the 31 top
performing small-cap banks and thrifts in the nation. In announcing the Sm-All
Stars, Sandler O'Neill's Principal & Director of Research Mark Fitzgibbon and
Associate Director Casey Orr said, "In all, our screening methodology
eliminated 93% of the institutions being evaluated. The performance metrics of
the remaining 31 institutions are exceptional."

Companies were evaluated based on absolute performance in eight financial
variables: growth in EPS, loans and deposits, return on average equity,
nonperforming assets to loans plus OREO ratio, net charge-off ratio, reserves
to nonperforming assets ratio and Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio. To earn
"Sm-All Star" status, the banks and thrifts needed to be at or above the peer
median for the first seven metrics surveyed, plus be considered "Well
Capitalized" per the Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio.

"Center Bancorp is honored to be recognized for the second consecutive year on
the Sm-All Star list," said Anthony C. Weagley, President and Chief Executive
Officer. Center prides itself on its strength, stability and consistent
performance while providing superior service to our local communities.  "It is
a testament of our Bank's hallmark personalized service, commitment to
excellence, and results," added Mr. Weagley.

About Center Bancorp

Center Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, which operates Union Center
National Bank, its main subsidiary. Chartered in 1923, Union Center National
Bank is one of the oldest national banks headquartered in the state of New
Jersey and now ranks as the third largest national bank headquartered in the
state. Union Center National Bank is currently the largest commercial bank
headquartered in Union County. Its primary market niche is its commercial
banking business. The Bank focuses its lending activities on commercial
lending to small and medium-sized businesses, real estate developers and high
net worth individuals.

The Bank, through its Private Banking and Wealth Management Division, which
includes its wholly-owned subsidiary, Center Financial Group LLC, provides
personalized wealth management and advisory services to high net worth
individuals and families. Our services include banking, liquidity management,
investment services, custody, tailored lending, wealth planning, trust and
fiduciary services, insurance, family wealth advisory services and
philanthropic advisory services. The Bank, through a strategic partnership
between the Bank's Private Banking Division and Alexander, Troy & Company
("AT&CO."), Family Office Services, of Katonah, New York, provides customized
financial and administrative services to high-net worth individuals.

Center, through a strategic partnership with Compass Financial Management, LLC
and ING, offers pension/401(k) planning services. Compass is an Investment
Advisory Company with five decades of cumulative experience providing
investment services in a personal, professional and attentive manner. They
provide discretionary private investment management for individuals and
corporate accounts as well as 401(k) advisory services.

The Bank currently operates 16 banking locations in Bergen, Mercer, Morris and
Union Counties in New Jersey. Banking centers are located in Union Township (5
locations), Berkeley Heights, Boonton/Mountain Lakes, Englewood, Madison,
Millburn/Vauxhall, Morristown, Oakland, Princeton, Saddle River, Springfield,
and Summit, New Jersey. The Bank's primary market area is comprised of central
and northern New Jersey.

CONTACT: Investor Inquiries:
         Joseph D. Gangemi
         Senior VP, Investor Relations
         (908) 206-2863

Center Bancorp, Inc. Logo
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