Longtime financial advisor Chris Valentino will make the jump to banking when he joins Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. later this month.
Valentino’s move comes after an 18-year career as a financial advisor, including the last five years at Indiana-based Sycamore Advisors LLC.
“There’s been opportunities in the past to make this jump but I never felt like the fit was right,” Valentino, 48, said. “In this case, I’m really a fan of the people at Stifel and am looking forward to hitting the ground running.”
Valentino will start on Oct. 30, joining the New York office as a managing director. He will report to Chicago-based Omar Daghestani, who leads Stifel’s Chicago, Boston and New York offices.
“Chris Valentino is an amazingly talented public finance professional and a fantastic cultural fit for our firm,” Daghestani said. “We have long been fans of Chris and him joining Stifel is a very natural fit.”
Stifel’s hire follows two years of steep issuance declines that have prompted several firms to trim public finance ranks. The decision by UBS last week to cut its entire public finance group is the latest example in a year that began with cuts at Morgan Stanley and Citi.
“It’s obviously a difficult market but Stifel very much takes a little bit longer view of the market,” Daghestani said, adding that future hires are possible.
The St. Louis-based firm has steadily expanded for more than a decade fueled in part by a series of acquisitions.
“I’ve been with the firm now 12 years and it was a growing firm 12 years ago and for as much as we’ve grown, the trajectory hasn’t really changed,” Daghestani said.
Valentino, a lifelong New Yorker, will take up Northeast accounts with a focus on general government, transit and state revolving funds. He has in the past worked closely with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Municipal Finance Water Authority.
“Stifel is growing their public finance presence in this market and it makes a lot of sense for the firm,” Valentino said. “Personally I was impressed by Stifel’s commitment to doing work in New York.”
For the first half of this year, Stifel ranked sixth among senior managers with $9.32 billion par amount and 318 issues, capturing 5.4% of the market share. For the same period last year, the firm ranked seventh, with $9.52 billion par amount and 4.7% of market share.