Investment Banks Start Hiring Again as Economy Slowly Improves

Mark Boidman

Private equity pros should start seeing some new faces at investment banks.

Four years ago, the financial crisis caused IBs to cut staff. That’s changed. Some banks are starting to hire again as the U.S. economy improves, says Leslie Gordon, Korn/Ferry’s global sector leader, investment banking and capital markets.

Some banks are posting profits and there are pockets of growth within the industry, Gordon says. In fact, sectors such as healthcare, energy and financial institutions are adding people, she says. “There has been some movement, but it isn’t a frenzy of activity,” Gordon says.

One firm that is expanding is Peter J. Solomon Co.  The New York boutique has advised on several PE deals, including PPR’s sale of  OneStopPlus Group to Charlesbank Capital Partners and Webster Capital in February. Solomon recently moved offices to 1345 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. It currently employs 75 people, but it has room for 125, says spokeswoman Dianne Coffey.  “The firm is definitely hiring,” Coffey says. “We’re looking for senior bankers.”

Solomon recently hired two bankers. Mark Boidman has joined as a director in Solomon’s Media, Entertainment, Communications and Technology advisory practice. He spent the last nine years at Barclay’s Capital (originally Lehman Brothers), where he was a director within M&A and TMT. He was also head of out-of-home advertising.

Brad Weinberg

Brad Weinberg also joined Solomon as a managing director in the Consumer Products practice. He specializes in restaurants and convenience stores. Previously, Weinberg spent six years at UBS Investment Bank where he was an MD in the Global Consumer Products & Retail IB group.

Meanwhile, Sean Minnihan, an investment banker with more than 19 years of experience, recently joined GCA Savvian. Minnihan is a managing director in GCA’s Financial Technology Group. He previously spent three years at UBS, where he was an MD and led the firm’s fintech and capital markets practice. Prior to that, Minnihan was an MD in Bank of America’s financial technology group. He was also a member of Goldman Sach’s FIG group.

Minnihan has much experience working on PE deals. He advised on the $1.4 billion sale of NetSpend to Tsys earlier this year. (JLL Partners reportedly earned $349 millon with the exit.). Other PE transactions include Lightyear’s buy of Higher One in 2008 and Lindsey Goldberg’s buy of Intermex Wire Transfer two years earlier.

Fintech, Minnihan says, is still an exciting space. Companies like Square are providing new technology that is creating a new merchant class, he says. “Technology has integrated the world of payments and mobile in a way that is benefiting the merchants out there,” he says.