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The man to know if you want a FIG M&A job on Wall Street

If you’re a financial institutions group (FIG) M&A banker and want to know where all the action is, then you need to know Jimmy Dunne.

As co-head of M&A at specialist FIG boutique Sandler O’Neill, Dunne has just landed a plum role advising TD Ameritrade on its $26bn acquisition by Charles Schwab, cementing Sandler O'Neill's credentials as the leading M&A house in the financial services sector.

Dunne, who runs M&A with Jon Doyle, is leading the TD Ameritrade deal team along with Aaron Doors and Brian Sterling. Sandler O’Neill has advised on more financial services M&A transactions than any other investment bank every year since 2015 and has ranked top by fees for the last two years. According to Dealogic, the bank has earned $122m in FIG M&A fees so far this year, giving it a healthy 10.9% market share, pipping Goldman Sachs by just $1m.

Now that Sandler has won a lead role advising TD Ameritrade along with PJT Partners means it will show a clean pair of heels to Goldman, which is not on the deal. Credit Suisse is advising Charles Schwab.

It caps a busy year for Dunne, who in July helped Sandler negotiate its $485m acquisition by Piper Jaffray along with fellow senior managing principal Jon Doyle.

While Piper Jaffray was the acquirer, Sandler’s investment banking team is bigger. Following the acquisition, Dunne and Doyle were named vice chairmen of Piper Sandler, the newly-combined combined entity and together they run its financial services business. The pair already oversaw a team of 300 Sandler bankers – the biggest on the street - and have now brought Piper’s smaller FIG team into the fold.

As part of the acquisition in July, Piper paid $115m in long-term retention incentives, primarily in restricted stock of Piper Jaffray Companies.

But while you may have missed out on that payday, Sandler is on the recruitment trail. In September, the bank hired Jonathan Kaufmann as a manging director from Moelis & Company with a remit to build out a fintech team.

Charles Schwab’s acquisition of TD Ameritrade is the second biggest FIG M&A deal since the financial crisis and the follows the all-share $28.2bn tie-up struck between regional banks BB&T and SunTrust in February.

But deals of this size have proved to be the exception rather than the rule over the last decade and secret of Sandler’s success is it’s the size of its team, and its strength across all sub-sectors.

“Big bank deals are few and far between. If you want deal experience you need to be working at a boutiques like Sandler O’Neill and Stifel,” said one headhunter.

Stifel is ranked third in the fee rankings having bolstered its own credential and acquired FIG specialist KBW in 2013.

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AUTHORDavid Rothnie Insider Comment

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