Former Merrill Lynch financial institutions group capital markets banker Amir Hoveyda has joined brokerage and advisory firm StormHarbour as a managing principal, his new employer said. Hoveyda will be based in London and his responsibilities will be to grow the firm’s capital markets and advisory businesses, as well as co-managing the overall European operations.
Hoveyda worked at Merrill for much of his 23-year career, before leaving in March 2010, and is a veteran of the FIG sector. His last role was running the US firm’s debt capital markets business for EMEA after it was taken over by Bank of America.
StormHarbour is an independent fixed income boutique formed in early 2009.
A number of experienced debt bankers created or joined boutiques in the fall-out of the credit crunch.
“The firm has achieved critical scale and global scope in its core businesses, creating a solid foundation for its long-term growth and development,” Hoveyda said.
Hoveyda has invested to become a StormHarbour partner and will be one of three managing principals in London alongside founder Antonio Cacorino. The other, Thierry Sciard, runs the alternative investments asset management operation.
The likes of Evolution, Amias Berman, Aladdin Capital, Bishopsfield Capital Partners, Conduit Capital Markets and AgFe saw an opportunity to broker investors following a dramatic widening in bid/offer bond spreads or advising the owners of structured credit risk on how to manage their positions.
Not all of these boutiques have prospered, however, especially those focused on mainstream fixed-income sales and trading where the big investment banks have returned to traditional market making.
“The firm has achieved critical scale and global scope in its core businesses, creating a solid foundation for its long-term growth and development.”
Hoveyda argues that it’s different for StormHarbour in part because it went for a global operation from the very start but also because around half of its front office professionals are focused on structuring, advisory and capital markets in the credit intensive end of fixed income.
The continued dislocation in the debt markets has meant that boutiques which have greater expertise in FIG and structured finance advisory have survived.
And some such as AgFe are even expanding into infrastructure finance and investment.
Meanwhile, longstanding independent investment banks such as Lazard who traditionally have looked at advisory in M&A and equity capital markets have expanded into debt.