Chicago-based Loop Capital Markets recently made three hires in an attempt to strengthen its presence in the Northeast.
Frank Oh joined as managing director of the public finance department in New York, while Rodolfo Riverol signed on as senior quantitative specialist. Loop also brought in Rasheia Johnson as vice president to open the firm's Philadelphia office.
The hires follow on the heels of Loop's January acquisition of the financial advisory firm Gardner, Underwood & Bacon in California, a purchase that boosted the firm's presence on the West Coast. The latest hires will do the same on the East Coast, as well as expand the firm's overall national presence, according to Alexander Rorke, Loop's head of public finance.
"These hires complement the West Coast purchase," he said. "We wanted to deepen our presence in the Northeast because of how important the clients there are to us."
Oh brings two decades of experience to his new role in leading Loop's banking efforts in New York. He has worked in municipal finance banking, financial advisory, and issuing.
Most recently, Oh was senior vice president and managing director at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. for roughly the past two years. He previously was a vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and at UBS.
Oh has managed over $25 billion for municipalities, water and sewer utilities, educational institutions, transportation agencies, and airports.
Riverol, a senior quantitative specialist in Loop's New York office, has more than 20 years of experience in the municipal bond industry. He will help enhance the firm's quantitative capabilities.
Riverol previously headed Citi's quantitative efforts, where he worked the past four years and structured the Series 2006J, Series 2008 D, E, and F, and Series 2009 B, C, D New York City general obligation issues.
He also worked as a banker on Bear Stearns' Massachusetts and Puerto Rico accounts, where he oversaw a refunding for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.
Johnson joined as a member of the firm's public-finance investment banking group. She will be based at the new Philadelphia offices and provide analytical and technical investment-banking support for clients in the Northeast.
Johnson was a financial adviser for Public Financial Management for the past five years. She was also an assistant to the director of finance for debt management for Philadelphia.
As a financial adviser, Johnson supported a diverse group of clients and has facilitated more than $7 billion of municipal transactions for cities, counties, utilities, educational institutions, and mass transportation agencies.
The new hires are "an example of our commitment to the industry," Rorke said. "We're very bullish on public finance."
Despite the slowest quarter in more than a decade for issuance, Loop is optimistic about the rest of 2011, according to Rorke.
"The first quarter was very slow," he said. "We see more of our clients coming to market in the second and third quarters."
Loop Capital, which was founded in 1997, has made a steady climb up the regional and nationwide rankings for senior managers over the past several years. It ranks 10th so far in 2011 for all deals, up from 23rd in 2007, according to Thomson Reuters.
But Loop wears the Midwestern crown so far this year as the book-runner on two issues that totaled more than $1.5 billion. That's more than its total for all of 2009 in the region, when it was senior manager on 17 issues and ranked 14th.