Sterne Agee has hired Justin Resuello as a municipal credit analyst as the firm continues to expand its footprint within the municipal sector. Resuello joins the Birmingham, Ala.-based firm’s New York office.
Resuello reports to Philip Villaluz, head of muni research and strategy at Sterne. He will be focused on state and local general obligation credits across the country.
“Justin’s abilities to assess and monitor credit will be valuable as we grow our municipal platform,” Villaluz said. “His skills add to our analytic resources with regard to identifying repurchase relative value and post-purchase credit surveillance and risk management.”
Before joining Sterne Agee in early April, Resuello was a credit analyst at Moody’s Investors Service in the New York office. He began in the San Francisco office and covered Western regional credits as well as Southeast credits.
Villaluz added that “our business model is based around research and strategy, and in this environment investors are going to have to conduct more due diligence on underlying credits and there is a mandate out there today for independent credit work. Our firm’s clients require that additional analytic support.”
“I am excited to serve clients who need to understand municipal credit quality,” Resuello said. “The rating agencies are a good starting place to understand credit risk. But the Dodd-Frank reform makes it more difficult for institutions to solely depend on them. I look forward to helping provide that independent credit opinion.”
While Resuello is the only new addition to the team recently, Villaluz said there are plans to expand other aspects of the municipal bond and public finance platform. He declined to comment further.
Sterne Agee has been in expansion mode for a while. Several months ago, former Alabama state senator Steve French joined the muni group. He was hired to work on Southeast banking efforts with a focus on client development. And at the end of last year, the firm acquired San Francisco-based Nollenberger Capital Partners, to expand its municipal finance business in the West.
Sterne Agee is one of the largest privately owned investment banking firms in the country. It employs more than 1,000 professionals and has offices in 24 states.