Wunderlich Securities has added six Equity Capital Markets professionals from Morgan Keegan. Of the new hires, four are located in Wunderlich’s Memphis headquarters while the other two are in the Institutional Sales Department in New York City.

“We continue to build out our Equity Capital Markets division,” Gary K. Wunderlich, Jr., the firm’s CEO, told On Wall Street. “We started this division from scratch in August 2008, which was a tough time to begin, and we’re very pleased with the results so far.”

The new Memphis additions include Senior Vice President and research analyst Brent Rakers, CFA, and research associate Anjali Voria, both of whom will cover the industrial/distribution sector. Rakers, who also had worked at Cozad Asset Management, was with Morgan Keegan since 1995, recently as a senior analyst covering the industrial distribution space. He was ranked #1 or #2 for earnings accuracy five times in the trading companies and distributors industry by Financial Times/Starmine.

The other new hires in Memphis are Senior Vice President and research analyst Chaz Jones as well as research associate Nick Bender, who will both cover the transportation sector. Jones worked at Stephens Inc. before joining Morgan Keegan. As a senior analyst at Morgan Keegan, Jones received Financial Times/StarMine Global Analyst Awards four times as one of the top earnings estimators in the Road and Rail category.

In New York, Sam Levine and Jean Potvin are joining Wunderlich’s Institutional Sales Department. Levine worked at First Albany, Oppenheimer, and Think Equity LLC before going to Morgan Keegan as a Senior Vice President. Potvin also worked at First Albany, Oppenheimer, and Think Equity, after a stint at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Even before that, Jean Potvin had an 11-year National Hockey League career culminating with two Stanley Cup Championships in the early 1980s, with the New York Islanders.

Including the new hires, Wunderlich’s Equity Capital Markets division now has 17 senior analysts covering approximately 210 companies in five industry verticals while its sales force has grown to 19 senior salespersons, 9 traders/sales traders, and 18 senior investment bankers.

“We are committed to our Equity Capital Markets business and are capitalizing on the opportunity created by the Raymond James-Morgan Keegan transaction to add depth to this group,” said Gary Wunderlich. “Since we started this division in 2008, we’ve seen continued consolidation and dislocation in the industry, which has enabled us to pick up some really good people.”

So far, Wunderlich said, the new division has been successful.

“We have been involved in many underwriting transactions and the quality of our research has gotten good reviews,” he said. “All of this has added to our brand name, and helped recruiting on the retail side. The advisors we’ve hired recently have told us that they first heard of our firm from reading our research or from seeing our analysts on television. Many top advisors are interested in moving to regional firms now and the increased recognition has helped us to compete.”

Donald Jay Korn writes for On Wall Street.





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