Wunderlich Securities Builds Consumer Retail Team

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wunderlich Securities has hired former Roth Capital Partners veterans Joe Schimmelpfennig, Jeff Ng, Dan Friedman, Eric Rindahl and Jeff Buhrman to build a consumer and retail investment banking team out of the firm's newly opened Newport Beach, Calif. offices. The move comes about a half-year after Wunderlich Securities took a $40 million equity investment led by Altamont Capital Partners as a means to expand its presence in the middle market.

The consumer retail team will offer a full service platform of investment banking, research and institutional sales and trading and is currently hiring across those roles. Wunderlich's new platform will seek to serve companies of an enterprise value of between $100 million and $1 billion in the restaurants, consumer brands, hard and soft goods, e-commerce and specialty retail sectors.

Joe Schimmelpfennig told TheStreet in an interview he expects the banking team to cover advisory work, in addition to debt and equity capital markets. In total, the banking team is expected to reach eight-to-10 professionals. That investment banking business will be supported by institutional sales and trading coverage, and Wunderlich also expects to add consumer research in Newport Beach covering about 100 different stocks.

"In the small and mid-cap marketplace, it is important to have all three disciplines: banking, research and institutional sales," Schimmelpfennig said on Tuesday evening.

"We are extremely pleased to have hired Joe and his partners and are looking forward to expanding our presence in the consumer space," added Gary Wunderlich, CEO of Wunderlich Securities.

The team of former Roth Capital Partners bankers was introduced to Wunderlich through Lionel Conacher, a principal at Altamont. Conacher was named Chairman of Wunderlich Securities when the Altamont investment was announced in December. Altamont executives Iain Bridges and Keoni Schwartz also joined the board of Wunderlich Investment Company as part of the deal.

For Wunderlich, the expansion will add a new vertical to go with its existing presence in the energy, real estate investment trust (REIT) and industrial sectors. It also underscores the firm's efforts to expand in middle market investment banking.

Founded in 1996, Wunderlich Securities has grown to 30 offices across the United States with over 500 financial professionals and $8 billion under management.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.

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