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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A New Player Focuses on Asset Management M&A

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Fundsters doing M&A deals now have a new investment bank to add to their rolodexes. Today Sandler O'Neill + Partners confirmed that Aaron Dorr just joined up to lead the New York-based investment bank's brand new asset management investment banking group. Dorr reports to William Hickey and Brian Sterling, co-heads of investment banking at Sandler O'Neill. Watch for Dorr to hire to build out his new team.

Dorr most recently served as the managing director leading the asset management investment banking unit at Jefferies Group. He's also an alum of Putnam Lovell Securities, Deutsche Bank, Putnam and Marsh & McLennan.

While he does plan to make some new hires to fill out his new asset management team at Sandler O'Neill, Dorr said he doesn't have a particular size or time frame in mind.

"The focus is on getting the best input and the best people," Dorr told The MFWire.

Dorr described Sandler O'Neill as a "really good fit" for him.

"[Sandler O'Neill] just has a fantastic footprint across the broader financial services space," Dorr said, adding praise for the firm's "very high-touch, senior banker model" of customer service.

"We see significant opportunity in asset management advisory for middle market companies, which have been the core of our business for more than two decades," stated Jonathan Doyle, managing principal at Sandler O'Neill.

"We have long served asset management companies, but adding proven experience in asset management advisory and building this team deepens our expertise and sophistication and brings renewed focus to our efforts," Sterling added.

Sandler O'Neill is a full-service i-bank that focuses on the financial industry.

Company Press Release

New York – March 16, 2011 – Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., a full-service investment banking firm specializing in financial services companies, today announced that Aaron Dorr has joined Sandler O’Neill and will head the firm’s Asset Management Investment Banking Group.

Mr. Dorr is based in Sandler O’Neill’s New York offices and will report to Brian R. Sterling and William F. Hickey, Principals and Co-Heads of Investment Banking. Dorr will lead a team of bankers focused on asset management and related sectors, significantly expanding the firm’s efforts in serving these companies.

Dorr has more than 15 years of asset management advisory experience and joins the firm from Jefferies Group, Inc., where he served as Managing Director and led the company’s Asset Management Investment Banking Group.

“We are thrilled to welcome Aaron to Sandler O’Neill,” said Jonathan Doyle, a Sandler O’Neill Managing Principal. “Our firm is dedicated to serving a wide range of clients and the addition of a respected industry veteran demonstrates our commitment to offering the highest quality services to the entire financial services sector. We see significant opportunity in asset management advisory for middle-market companies, which have been the core of our business for more than two decades.”

“The strong industry relationships Aaron has built over the years brings exceptional depth to our firm,” said Mr. Sterling. “Establishing a dedicated corporate advisory practice focusing on the asset management industry and related sectors is a natural extension of our franchise.” Mr. Hickey added, “We have long served asset management companies, but adding proven experience in asset management advisory and building this team deepens our expertise and sophistication and brings renewed focus to our efforts.”

"I am delighted to be joining an established market leader in advising financial institutions,” Dorr said. “Sandler O’Neill has a reputation for offering deep insight and tailored advice, and we share a client-first business approach. I look forward to helping clients meet their strategic objectives and capital needs as part of the Sandler O'Neill team.”

Sandler O'Neill is one of the most active investment banks in merger advisory and capital raising for financial institutions. Since 2009, the firm has advised on 55 financial services merger transactions worth an aggregate of $13.2 billion. During that same period, Sandler O'Neill managed 89 public equity offerings that raised approximately $44.8 billion.1

About Mr. Dorr

Mr. Dorr has advised on more than 30 completed M&A transactions, with a cumulative deal value of over $10 billion. Prior to his role at Jefferies, Mr. Dorr was a Managing Director at Putnam Lovell Securities from 1998 until Putnam Lovell’s sale to Jefferies in 2007. Previously he worked in the Financial Institution Group for Deutsche Bank from 1995-1998 and held positions at Putnam Investments and Marsh & McLennan Companies.

1Merger transaction and capital raising statistics from SNL Financial LC as of March 15, 2011

About Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P.

Founded in 1988, Sandler O’Neill + Partners is a full-service investment banking firm dedicated to providing comprehensive, innovative advisory and transaction execution services to the financial industry. The firm specializes in strategic business planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, mutual-to-stock conversions, investment portfolio and interest rate risk management, fixed income securities transactions and mortgage finance restructurings. Sandler O’Neill also is a market maker in hundreds of financial stocks and publishes equity and fixed income research focused on selected banks, thrifts and insurance companies, credit card companies, investment banks, asset managers, specialty finance companies, e-finance companies, real estate investment trusts and transaction execution companies. Additional information about Sandler O’Neill can be found on the firm’s website at www.sandleroneill.com. 

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