Hilltop Securities adds Michael Sorth to public finance in St. Louis

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Hilltop Securities Inc. is bulking up its public finance team in St. Louis with the hiring of Michael Sorth, a former banker who had been working in the not-for-profit sector.

Sorth joined the Dallas-based firm’s public finance division this spring as a managing director working alongside investment banker Reagan Holliday and regional office administrator Sharon Smith.

Michael Sorth has joined Hilltop Securities' team in St. Louis

Sorth will provide municipal underwriting and advisory services to issuers in Missouri and throughout the Midwest with a focus on economic development and commercial real estate public-private partnership transactions.

“Michael has an established history of serving issuers throughout the Midwest. He knows the particular economic challenges they face, and — more importantly — how to help them meet their financing needs,” David Medanich, vice chairman and head of public finance, said in a statement.

Sorth brings with him more than two decades of investment banking and community development leadership experience, the firm said. Sorth most recently held the chief executive officer’s post at the Community Impact Network where since 2017 he led community development strategies for nonprofit collaboration and low-income housing. He previously held public finance banking positions with Stifel and Piper Sandler.

“The economic consequences of COVID-19 have impacted many Midwestern communities and threatened to undo all the gains the region has made in the past decade,” Sorth said in a statement. “Now more than ever, these borrowers need to maintain access to the capital markets to continue growing. I’m excited to get back to banking and leverage Hilltop Securities' resources and reputation to help them do so."

Hilltop ranked ninth last year in Missouri among senior managers working on eight deals valued at $173.9 million, was 20th in the Midwest and 24th nationally. So far this year, the firm ranks 12th in Missouri with three deals valued at $24 million, is 22nd in the Midwest, and 19th nationally. As a financial advisor, Hilltop last year ranked second in Missouri advising on seven deals valued at $554 million, and third nationally. So far this year, the firm ranks sixth in Missouri advising on four deals valued at $105 million and third nationally.

Sorth is the latest in a series of new hires as Hilltop remains in growth mode “with a focus on building our financial advisory and public finance underwriting team across the United States,” said Brad Winges, president and chief executive officer.

The firm has its eye on both adding to the public finance team in current locations and adding new locations “as opportunities arise,” Winges said in an email. “It’s best to have banking resources close to the issuing clients that understand the local financial challenges.”

The firm’s current team includes 85 bankers, 11 analysts, 44 institutional sales professionals, 21 traders, and four underwriters. The firm has public finance/fixed income professionals on the ground in 38 of its 54 offices with coverage in 19 of the 20 states that house all business divisions. The firm has had a St. Louis presence since 2016.

Update: The story was updated with data on Hilltop's municipal financial advisor business.

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