US Mid-Market Equity House: Stifel

IFR Awards 2021
4 min read
Robert Sherwood

Global presence

Stifel used a global banking footprint to push into new frontiers of cryptocurrency, cross-border listings and other emerging technologies in 2021 and is IFR's US Mid-Market Equity House of the Year.

As equity issuance set new records in 2021, Stifel saw investments in its banking platform really pay off.

Stifel had its best year ever as a bookrunner with 89 offerings for US$4.45bn of credit and a 13th place finish in the US equity and equity-linked league table. Everyone had an up year in 2021, but that’s double the 45 offerings and US$2.3bn of credit the year before when it ranked 20th. The progress is particularly significant considering bulge-bracket firms are winning a greater share of the pie.

“Clients pay a lot in fees and they want their second, third and fourth bookrunners to earn that money,” said Seth Rubin, Stifel’s head of US ECM. “You have to be able to deliver research, sales and trading, and bring new investors to the table.”

Stifel provides research coverage on more than 1,500 companies, adding about 250 in 2021, and a global sales and trading platform.

Silvergate Capital, a fast-growing bank that specialises in cryptocurrency, is a prime example of a now large client Stifel picked up well before the institutionalisation of crypto.

In December, Silvergate mandated Stifel as a joint bookrunner on a plum US$552m equity raise as third seat alongside Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Despite being conducted on an overnight basis, the follow-on sale of 4.3m shares at US$145 each was upsized from a US$400m fixed target, reflecting strong investor demand and a fully exercised greenshoe.

Stifel, which executed the trade through its Keefe Bruyette & Woods subsidiary, a business it acquired in 2012, was awarded the same share of the fees as JP Morgan.

The December stock sale was Silvergate’s fourth equity raise of the year, beginning with an upsized US$287.5m follow-on in January, a US$300m at-the-market programme completed in May, and a US$200m preferred stock sale in July, all at progressively higher share prices and all featuring Stifel as a bookrunner.

Acquisitions have figured prominently in the expansion of Stifel’s banking platform, resulting in equity syndication capabilities in London, Toronto and Tel Aviv, in addition to San Francisco, New York and Baltimore.

Healthcare has always been a core part of Stifel’s business and the acquisition of European brokerage MainFirst, also in 2019, increased access to European healthcare companies seeking to broaden their investor reach with listings on US exchanges.

Nyxoah, a Belgian medical device maker listed on Euronext Brussels, turned to Stifel as one of three bookrunners to lead its US$97.8m Nasdaq listing in July.

Maxcyte, a US-domiciled provider of cell engineering technologies used in drug development, secured US$198.3m on its Nasdaq IPO in August, complementing its LSE listing with a more liquid one and allowing for inclusion in the Russell 2000 Index. Stifel was one of three bookrunners.

Those mandates grew from the bank promoting non-deal roadshow and investor presentations focused on medical tools and diagnostics, oncology and central nervous system disorders, with those identified as specific growth areas in need of new investment, according to Nicholas Oust, Stifel’s head of software and healthcare ECM.

Stifel’s long relationship with gene therapy specialist Ionis Pharmaceuticals includes eight fundraisings for US$4.6bn of proceeds. In April, Stifel delivered an upsized US$550m through a five-year, zero-coupon CB that Ionis used to refinance a CB that was about to mature.

The firm is also on the lookout for emerging technologies that present investable growth opportunities.

StrataSys, a 3D printing company, is a new client that brought Stifel on as a bookrunner for a US$200m follow-on stock sale in March. The bank advised 3D printing company Fathom Digital Manufacturing on its US$1.5bn SPAC merger and US$80m PIPE.

The SPAC business led by Craig DeDomenico brought in 16 IPOs in the year.

To see the digital version of this report, please click here

To purchase printed copies or a PDF of this report, please email