Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group hired nine bankers for the restaurant finance group of its corporate and investment banking division, including Nick Cole and Quinn Hall as managing directors.

Cole will head the newly expanded group and report to Scott Hagel, head of U.S. general industries for MUFG, and Hall will lead loan underwriting and portfolio management and report to Cole.

All nine hires joined MUFG from Wells Fargo and will start on June 1. The combined group will operate from San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago and Boston.

Brian Geraghty, a managing director and eight-year veteran of MUFG’s restaurant finance group, will serve as head of loan originations and also report to Cole.

“The expansion of MUFG’s restaurant finance group demonstrates our confidence in the business prospects of this industry, which approached $660 billion in U.S. revenues in 2020 and is expected to grow,” Hagel said. “This group now features a deep bench of experienced bankers in this segment that builds on the significant market penetration we’ve gained over the past two years and positions MUFG to be a market-leading provider of financing solutions across the value chain for franchisors, franchisees and restaurant operating companies.”

Cole and Hall each have more than 25 years of investment banking experience in the restaurant industry.

Cole will be based in San Diego. He was previously an executive vice president at Wells Fargo and head of specialty finance, covering multiple sectors, including chain restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores, limited-service chain hotels and special-purpose real estate. Before Wells Fargo, he was a managing director in Bank of America’s corporate and investment banking division, managing client relationships with restaurant companies.

Hall will be based in Atlanta. He was formerly a managing director in Wells Fargo’s middle-market banking division and head of underwriting, strategy and analytics for the bank’s restaurant finance group. Previously, he served as the group’s head of business development and then as head of portfolio management. Before joining Wells Fargo, Hall led Bank of America’s restaurants and beverage group within corporate and investment banking.

The other new additions to MUFG’s restaurant finance group include Joe Rinaldi (managing director), Eric Schnyder (managing director), Emily Sutton (director), Matt Kochan (director), Zac Kalemba (director), Luis Victorio (vice president) and Mike Le (associate).

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant finance group at MUFG has focused on brands within the “quick-serve” and “fast-casual” segments of the industry.

“We expect the growth of these segments, which have performed well during the COVID-19 pandemic, to accelerate as the pandemic subsides and provide opportunity for us,” Hagel said. “Additionally, we will leverage the experience of our newly hired talent to expand our platform to other franchise concepts beyond restaurants.”