Broker-dealer's rapid growth plan broadens fixed income reach

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Broker-dealer 280 CapMarkets is moving ahead on expansion plans with new hires that grow its municipal institutional sales desk and expand the business into corporate bond trading.

The San Francisco-based company has executed more than $1.7 billion in fixed income sales, primarily municipal bonds, since it begin trading in May, said Dave Rudd, a co-founder and managing director of institutional sales.

The firm launched Bond Nav, a cloud-based technology platform in January, geared at helping independent financial advisors meet best-execution requirements by providing them with greater transparency in bond pricing.

It has grown from 25 people when it opened its Seattle and Los Angeles offices in September to 38 strong, Rudd said.

“The new hires bring expertise as we build out the trading desks,” Rudd said. “This is our first push into taxable institutional sales, which is important to us as a business.”

The business was launched with the muni product and “we are now rounding out the product suite to corporate bonds and beyond,” Rudd said.

John Lomangino joins the company’s municipal institutional sales team led by Rudd from Cantor Fitzgerald, and will be based in the New York office. He will work with Mark McCabe and Linda Vara, who came from Janney Montgomery Scott in November. They were also previously with First Southwest & Co., Stifel Nicolaus & Co., and Stone & Youngberg.

“John was a top producer at Cantor Fitzgerald,” Rudd said. “He has already had an impact. He has brought relationships that were new to the firm.”

It also added Alex Buchler in the San Francisco office as head of taxable institutional fixed income sales, and two others in the New York office last week. Michael Cullen will lead the company’s U.S. investment grade corporate bond trading platform. Karl Mayr will run the company’s high-yield corporate bond platform.

“We have spent a lot of time trying to identify the right type of folks, who could embrace the technology and have a history of building trading and sales desks,” Rudd said. “Both Mike and Karl have that experience, which is why I think they are the people to launch the corporate investment and high yield desks.”

Rudd and Buchler worked together at both of their prior jobs at R.W. Baird and RBC Capital Markets. Most recently, Buchler was a managing director of fixed income sales at R.W. Baird.

“Alex recruited me to R.W. Baird, where he was instrumental in building Baird’s West Coast platform,” Rudd said.

Buchler had maintained contact with Rudd as the co-founder has worked to make his vision of marrying technology with expertise in trading and sales a reality.

“The taxable market has started to see some volatility in the last couple of months,” Buchler said. “This is the perfect time to offer something different to our client base that can broaden their distribution.”

Lomangingo also brings deep background in taxable munis, Rudd said.

“We, like everyone, expect taxable munis to be high this year and continue into 2019,” Rudd said. “We are doing what we can to prepare for that as well as public sales and trading.”

The firm’s leaders had mentioned previously that they were looking at opening additional offices, but their focus remains on adding the right people, not geography, Buchler said.

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