Wells Fargo, bolstering Midwest presence, adds to Chicago banking team

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CHICAGO – Chicago-based public finance banker Kevin Hoecker has resigned from RBC Capital Markets LLC to join Wells Fargo Securities, a move that comes a few months after his former boss Stratford Shields took over as Wells' head of public finance.

Wells Fargo declined to comment and Hoecker could not be reached to comment, but sources said Hoecker resigned earlier this month from RBC and will join Wells Fargo as a director after a non-compete “garden leave” period ends May 7.

RBC declined to comment on whether it was looking to fill the post but several local bankers said the firm has reached out to bankers in Chicago to gauge interest in joining the firm.

Hoecker joined RBC in 2012. He held previous public finance banking positions at PNC Capital Markets and JPMorgan and worked as a financial advisor at the former Scott Balice Strategies, which was bought by PFM Financial Advisors in 2011.

Hoecker worked under Shields who was hired by RBC in 2014 to lead the firm’s municipal banking efforts in Chicago as a managing director and Midwest regional manager.

Wells and RBC are close competitors with RBC ranking 6th last year among senior managers nationally leading deals valued at $25.6 billion and Wells ranking 7th leading deals valued at $23.1 billion. In the Midwest league tables, RBC ranked 7th leading $3.6 billion of borrowing and Wells holds the 8th position leading $2.8 billion of borrowing.

Wells remains a top senior manager although some of its negotiated business was damaged by the 2016 fake accounts scandal, in which bank employees created more than two million new accounts without customers' knowledge or authorization, in order to generate new fee revenue.

In the aftermath, some municipal bond issuers such as California, Chicago, and Ohio suspended the firm from doing various forms of business.

The firm had previously fallen out of favor with Chicago for refusing as the counterparty on several swaps to lower the rating threshold that reached termination events after the city’s 2015 downgrades. The firm, however, never demanded payment based on the negative mark-to-market valuation, giving the city time to resolve payment issues.

Hoecker’s departure follows the recent retirement of Chris Hamel who had long led the firm’s municipal finance group. Bob Spangler and Jim Tricolli jointly assumed Hamel’s responsibilities as co-heads of municipal finance.

Another member of the RBC Chicago team -- James Rachlin -- is no longer with RBC, but no additional details were available. Rachlin joined the firm in 2015 after 19 years at BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc.

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