Hilltop Securities adds five to its muni team in Charlotte

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Dallas-based Hilltop Securities has hired five municipal market professionals to bolster the firm's expansion efforts in Charlotte, North Carolina.

All five, who most recently worked at Wells Fargo Securities, will be on Hilltop's debt capital market and fixed income capital market teams.

“Hilltop is in growth mode and hiring from all types of firms in the industry in all 50 states," said President Brad Winges.

Todd Bleakney joins the firm as senior managing director. He will also be co-head of debt capital markets working with Michael Bartolotta.

Joining him are former Wells Fargo colleagues Vinh Nguyen, Josh Phillips, Scott Wooster and Brian Brown were also recently hired.

“As we continue to build the nation’s leading municipal investment bank, we are extremely proud to welcome Todd, Vinh, Josh, Scott and Brian,” Hilltop President Brad Winges said in a statement. "Their addition not only expands HilltopSecurities’ sales, trading, and debt capital markets banking capabilities, it further enhances our growing presence in Charlotte."

Bleakney, a 26-year veteran, worked at Wells Fargo for 11 years and most recently was managing director and head of municipal sales, trading, and underwriting. He has also worked at Banc of America Securities, CRG Hedge Fund, and Salomon Smith Barney. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon.

Vinh Nguyen joins Hilltop as a managing director and head of municipal taxable and housing trading. He worked at Wells Fargo for more than 15 years and most recently was a managing director and municipal trader. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Josh Phillips is a managing director and the head of municipal trading. He worked at Wells Fargo for more than 17 years, most recently as managing director. He received a bachelor’s degree from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

Scott Wooster and Brian Brown joined Hilltop as managing directors in institutional municipal sales.

Wooster, a 27-year veteran, most recently worked at Wells Fargo as a managing director. He previously worked at Banc of America Securities, Wachovia Securities and SunTrust. He received a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University.

Brown spent 21 years at Wells Fargo where he most recently was director of municipal sales and trading. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Winges said the five new additions mark Hilltop's latest expansion effort in Charlotte, where it has added several fixed income and debt capital markets professionals this year. Michael Regan and Matthew Giammarinaro joined the firm as managing directors in institutional sales from Piper Sandler in July.

In September, Hilltop tapped managing director Steve Coma to lead the company's new high-yield housing origination group in Charlotte.

Winges said the company is in a growth mode and hiring from all types of firms in the industry in all 50 states.

“The goal is to continue to be an industry leader in municipal finance, mortgage finance, clearing and wealth management, and therefore the recruits we speak to vary in terms of tenure, talents, and location,” he said in a statement to The Bond Buyer. “We remain committed to building a diversified team to be an effective solution provider for all of our clients.”

The firm was ranked third among financial advisors nationally for the nine months of the year, according to Refinitiv data. It also ranked 10th as senior manager on small bond issues.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, like other large investment banks, announced recently that it planned to lay off about 700 workers as part of a cost-cutting move.

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Career moves Hilltop Securities Sell side Hiring Municipal advisors Wells Fargo
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