Magazine article American Banker

New Hires Help Stifel Gain on Bank M&A Rivals

Magazine article American Banker

New Hires Help Stifel Gain on Bank M&A Rivals

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Monks

No investment bank has benefited from the uptick in bank mergers more than Stifel Nicolaus Weisel, which has become the No. 3 advisor by deal volume this year.

Stifel Nicolaus a the investment banking arm of Stifel Financial (SF) in St. Louis a had advised 10 bank and thrift deals worth $500 million as of Sept. 30, according to SNL Financial.

Its bank M&A outfit was the No. 6 advisor by deal count in 2011, with 5 transactions worth $70 million. Its bank M&A results this year are its best since 2007, and they reflect market upheavals that are reshaping the pecking order of advisors. Boutiques Sandler O'Neill & Partners and Keefe Bruyette & Woods (KBW) a which ranked No. 1 and No. 2 advisors by deal volume in the first nine months of the year a have long dominated small-bank M&A, but the other players are catching up.

New hires and preparations for a long-expected wave of bank consolidation have fueled Stifel's gains, says Rick Maples, the co-head of investment banking. Stifel acquired Stone & Youngberg last year and Thomas Weisel Partners in 2010.

Its gains also reflect how rivals such as Hovde Financial and Raymond James & Associates have lost this year because of talent defections, intensifying competition and other factors.

The pace of bank deals has increased this year but is still relatively modest in historical terms. The 160 transactions announced through the end of September put 2012 on track to surpass the 178 deals announced in 2011, but last year was one of the slowest in decades, according to SNL. …

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