Stifel Financial hired Charlie Smith as managing director in the firm’s venture and fund banking group. Based in California, Smith will be responsible for West Coast fund banking to venture capital and private equity funds, primarily focusing on the technology and life sciences sectors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Charlie to our team as we actively expand our national footprint,” Brad Ellis, head of venture and fund banking at Stifel, said. “Mike Breaux has done a tremendous job building our fund banking business over the last three years and driving us to this important point. We are now able to complement Stifel’s well-established investment banking team on the West Coast with on-the-ground fund banking capabilities designed specifically for the venture capital and private equity communities. This is a key initiative for us and we expect to make additional investments and hires in the coming months.”

Smith has more than two decades of finance experience, primarily working in the asset management space. He joined Stifel from City National Bank, where he was a senior vice president in the firm’s structured finance group. In this role, Smith developed and maintained holistic banking relationships with private equity firms and their affiliates.

Prior to City National Bank, Smith was a senior vice president in Wells Fargo’s private bank specialty finance group and focused on providing financing to general partners of private equity firms. He also holds a CFA charter.

“I’m excited to join the Stifel platform,” Smith said. “Having the ability to tap into the broader Stifel network is a game changer. We are able to offer clients one-stop solutions, including direct lending and banking for portfolio companies, traditional investment banking services, fund placement, fund finance and management company lending.”

Stifel’s venture and fund banking group launched in 2018 and provides debt capital financing and commercial banking solutions to entrepreneurs, investors and their businesses. The group has produced $2.5 billion in loan commitments and more than $1 billion in deposits in fewer than three years. The group targets early-stage startups through mature growth companies and offers fund banking products such as capital call/subscription lines of credit in excess of $100 million, treasury management tools and relationship management with a single point of contact.

“Not only is venture and fund banking an attractive loan and deposit growth vehicle for us, it is also highly complementary to other businesses across the Stifel platform,” Chris Reichert, CEO of Stifel Bank & Trust, said. “We are incredibly pleased with our success to date and look forward to Charlie’s contributions on the West Coast.”