Magazine article American Banker

BancBoston Junk Bond Unit Lifts Corporate Debt Strategy

Magazine article American Banker

BancBoston Junk Bond Unit Lifts Corporate Debt Strategy

Article excerpt

Since applying for debt underwriting powers from the Federal Reserve a year ago, BancBoston Securities' junk bond group has burgeoned under the command of managing director Steven A. Shenfeld.

A veteran of Bankers Trust New York Corp., Mr. Shenfeld is armed with a strategy to underwrite junk bonds for midsize corporate clients, with annual revenues of $50 million to $500 million.

The unit has hired 35 professionals in sales, trading, capital markets, and research; co-managed three transactions; and launched its research product. The Fed approved BankBoston's application in February.

Though the competitive landscape has changed dramatically since then- with eight banking companies shoring up their investment banking business through acquisition-Mr. Shenfeld said he is not deterred.

In the coming year, the group is "on pace" to participate in 15 to 20 transactions and to lead two to four deals, he said.

"We're committed to this business, and we're pretty optimistic about our chances to finish the year strong," Mr. Shenfeld said. "It's a real fulcrum for the overall banking strategy, and we're pleased with the response from the bank."

The consolidation that has torn through the industry has actually been a "net positive" for the group, he added.

"It validates the notion of a full-service institution," Mr. Shenfeld said. "That's where we're going, and it gives us comfort that we're going in the right direction."

Still on Mr. Shenfeld's to-do list is the establishment of a three- to five-person distressed-debt desk. …

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