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

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.

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

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.