Magazine article American Banker

Stocks: Keefe Bruyette CEO Resigns; Scrubbed IPO Seen as Factor

Magazine article American Banker

Stocks: Keefe Bruyette CEO Resigns; Scrubbed IPO Seen as Factor

Article excerpt

James J. McDermott Jr. resigned Thursday as chairman and chief executive officer of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. amid rumors that his tenure was jeopardized by Keefe's unexpected decision to cancel an initial public offering.

Joseph J. Berry, 53, and John G. Duffy, 50, were named co-chief executive officers.

In a press release, Keefe Bruyette said that Mr. McDermott was leaving to "pursue personal interests after 21 years with the firm."

"We're extremely grateful for all that Jim's contributed to the firm's success, and we wish him well as he pursues his personal interest," Mr. Berry said in the press release.

The news was announced to Keefe Bruyette employees at a Thursday morning staff meeting, sources close to the firm said.

Many outside the firm believe that the 47-year-old Mr. McDermott's departure is related to the company's canceled IPO.

"The initial public offering being pulled so quickly implies that there is more to this story that we have not heard," said Scott Edgar, research director for Sife Trust Fund."

Initial public offerings just don't get canceled."

Keefe Bruyette, a 37-year-old boutique securities firm that specializes in financial institutions, canceled the IPO for the second time on May 10 with little explanation.

The cancellation came just six days after a tremendously successful offering by Goldman, Sachs & Co.

On Oct. 6, the company announced that it would delay its IPO because the market at the time was murky. …

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