RBC Capital Markets added four former Wells Fargo bankers to its municipal bond team, focusing in on the healthcare sector. The moves come even as smaller underwriting spreads have driven some players to reduce staff and even shed the business altogether.

The hires were disclosed this week by Bob Spangler and Jim Tricolli, RBC's co-heads of municipal finance, in an internal memo obtained by The Bond Buyer.

Bob Spangler, co-head, municipal finance for RBC Capital Markets.
Bob Spangler
Jim Tricolli, co-head of municipal finance at RBC Capital Markets.
Jim Tricolli

“We are pleased to announce five new hires designed to strengthen our healthcare finance group focused on both acute and long term care providers,” wrote Spangler and Tricolli. “We are also happy to announce several new hires in our Phoenix municipal banking office. These additions underscore our long standing commitment to the Arizona market. “

RBC has been hiring as banks including Wells and Morgan Stanley have reduced muni staff and William Blair has exited the business altogether over the past year or so.

Adrian Balderrama joined RBC Capital Markets this week as managing director, head of healthcare. Based in Phoenix, Balderrama will be responsible for bolstering RBC’s acute care healthcare practice in the U.S and will report to Tricolli. Balderrama joins RBC from Wells Fargo Securities where he was one of five managing directors of the public finance healthcare group, a 20-plus nationwide banking team focused on not-for-profit healthcare investment banking. In his new role, Balderrama will utilize his industry relationships to build out the firm's acute care practice and increase its presence in markets where it is underrepresented.

In addition, RBC announced several more hires in its acute care practice who will report to Balderrama.

Safi Najdawi will be joining the Philadelphia office next week as a director. He has spent the past 11 years at Well Fargo Securities, most recently as a director responsible for primary coverage of not-for-profit healthcare systems. His roles included: debt capital markets advisory, financial statement and debt capacity analysis, M&A evaluations and investor dialogues. Najdawi’s first day will be on July 24.

Roland Lim will be joining RBC’s Los Angeles office next month as a vice president. Lim joins from Wells Fargo Securities where he has spent the past decade in increasingly senior roles, most recently as a vice president, providing investment banking services to not-for-profit healthcare clients nationwide.

Francis Adarkwa joined the Los Angeles office earlier this month as a vice president. Prior to RBC, he worked at Wells Fargo Securities in its public finance healthcare team for three years and, prior to that, he worked at PNC Capital Markets in its public finance team.

Those four will work closely with the firm's existing acute care team consisting of: Jerry Berg, managing director in Chicago and Jeff Appel, director in Boston, as well as Blake Pinell and Harry Tsiagbe in New York.

In addition, the firm also announced that Naomi O’Dell will be joining as a vice president on July 23, to strengthen its long term care practice group. Based in Chicago, she will report to David Fields, head of senior living finance group. Specializing in healthcare and not-for-profit lending for the past 15 years, Dell has been involved in over 150 financings across nearly 30 states with a concentration in bond transactions. Prior to RBC, she worked at Santander Bank for 11 years, most recently as a senior vice president and team leader of the multifamily real estate division. Prior to that, she worked at LaSalle Bank.

Tye Burgess joined RBC earlier this month as director, reporting to Kurt Freund, managing director and manager of the Phoenix office. He will be responsible for covering local governments and K-12 clients in Arizona. Burgess joins from Wells Fargo Securities where he worked for 18 years, most recently as a director, developing and maintaining client relationships with cities, transportation authorities, utility districts, counties and school districts across Arizona, Utah and Nevada. Prior to his stint at Wells, he worked at First Security Capital Markets and Bank of America.

Michael Vasquez joined in May as a director, reporting to Freund. Vasquez is a 13-year industry veteran who previously ran his own municipal advisory firm in Arizona and has worked as an executive vice president with Estrada Hinojosa in the Texas marketplace. He began his career at RBC as an associate in the Phoenix office. He will be covering general governmental issuers in Arizona as well as K-12 schools and other special purpose issuers in the state.

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