Sandler O’Neill + Partners, an investment bank that caters to financial services companies, is getting into the commercial mortgage securitization business.

The firm has added two veteran fixed income traders, David A. Cook and Andrew E. Flick, to build a CMBS franchise.

Both Cook and Flick worked at large financial institutions before building a CMBS practice at Brean Capital, a regional firm. Cook will be based in Sandler O’Neill’s Boston office, while Flick will work in the firm’s New York headquarters. Both are managing directors and report to Alan D. Roth, a principal in Sandler O’Neill’s fixed income sales and trading group.

In a press release, Jonathan Doyle, the firm’s senior managing principal, said that two new hires have an established track record of serving money managers, insurance companies and hedge funds. “We see a tremendous opportunity for them to deliver value to our bank and thrift clients as well,” he said.

Sandler O'Neill is a leader in merger advisory, capital raising and securities trading for financial companies and is the largest independent investment banking firm focused on the financial services sector.

“Banks and thrifts hold a significant amount of commercial mortgage-backed securities on their balance sheets, and we believe they are significantly underserved with regard to structured products,” Flick said in the same press release. “We are excited at the opportunity to offer new ideas that will benefit Sandler’s banking clients, as well as non-bank financial companies, which we have been serving for years.”

Before Brean Capital, Cook was head of CMBS yrading at Barclays Capital. Prior to that, he worked at Lehman Brothers for eight years, primarily in CMBS trading. Flick was previously a managing director and head of CMBS trading and syndicate at Jefferies & Co.

The announcement comes one week after another investment bank, Societe Generale, announced it was returning to the U.S. CMBS market for the first time since the financial crisis. It hired an 11-member team from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Issuance of commercial mortgage bonds surpassed $100 billion in 2014, helped by persistently low interest rates and rising property values. The market is gearing up to handle a wave of over $300 million of commercial mortgages set to mature between now and the end of 2018.

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