Daily News: July 11, 2012

Sandler O’Neill Hires Donohoe, Launches Specialty Finance Practice

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, a full-service investment banking firm specializing in financial services companies, announced that Christopher W. Donohoe has joined the firm as a managing director and establishes a new investment banking practice at Sandler O’Neill focused on specialty finance companies.

Donohoe will be based in the firm’s New York headquarters and will report to Brian R. Sterling and William F. Hickey, principals and co-heads of Investment Banking. Donohoe will provide strategic and financial advice to commercial finance, leasing, consumer finance and a range of other non-bank financial services companies.

Donohoe was most recently managing director and headed the specialty finance investment banking effort as part of the Financial Institutions Group at BMO Capital Markets. Prior to that, he was a managing director at Banc of America Securities, where he advised specialty finance companies on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, and other key strategic and financial initiatives. Before Banc of America, he was a managing director at J.P. Morgan & Co., where he focused on specialty finance companies. He holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.

“I am thrilled to be joining Sandler O’Neill,” Donohoe said. “The firm has a tremendous reputation for client service and is an established leader in providing advice to financial services companies. It is an impact player in all of its practice areas, and my intention is to uphold and build on that reputation.”

The addition is part of Sandler O’Neill’s ongoing expansion of its investment banking practice areas. In the past two years, the firm has added dedicated teams to serve the asset management and real estate sectors and significantly expanded its insurance investment banking team.

“Specialty finance is a vibrant part of the financial services sector and an area where we see tremendous opportunities for growth,” Sterling said. “Sandler O’Neill has a history of advising these companies, but we have long hoped to meaningfully increase our commitment to the space and bring greater depth and focus to our services. Bringing Chris to the firm accomplishes this and is a major win for our clients.”

Sandler O’Neill is a very active investment bank in merger advisory and capital raising for financial institutions. Since 2010, the firm has advised on 90 financial services merger transactions valued at an aggregate of $16.6 billion. During that same period, Sandler O’Neill managed 63 public common equity offerings that raised approximately $21 billion.