The investment banking firm Sandler O’Neill & Partners added a team of five sales  professionals to its Chicago-based, fixed-income group.

Among the new hires are David Connelly and Scott Buchta, who both join the team as managing directors. 

Connelly and Buchta have more than 50 years of combined experience in fixed-income sales, trading and investment strategies across a wide range of Midwest-based clients including banks, insurance companies and hedge funds. 

The duo were previously at Braver Stern Securities where Connelly was a managing director and Buchta was a managing director as well as head of investment strategy.

“What I did in investment strategy at Braver Stern I will be bringing with me — from doing market commentary to working with bank and non-bank portfolios and balance sheets to come up with executable trade strategies,” Buchta said.

Considering Sandler’s focus on bank portfolios, both Connelly and Buchta said it would be a “natural fit”  to be doing strategies for financial institutions, while expanding this role to non-depository institutions, including insurance firms and asset managers. “We are expanding Sandler’s platform to a wider range of customers,” Buchta said, with Connelly specifically doing so for clients located in the Midwest.

As for asset classes that the new hires will be covering, they said it’s going to run the “gamut” from mortgages (both agency and non-agency), expanding into whole loan coverage, as well as varied securitizable assets such insurance, commercial and student loans, among others.

What they would like do is “use our expertise to work with institutions and regulators on  various rules affecting securitization such as accounting and risk retention, etc.  “We will like to help both banks and non-banks to perform optimally,” Buchta said.

According to the press release, Buchta will focus on providing market insight and relative value trade ideas across the ABS, MBS and CMBS sectors. He will also assist in developing portfolio-level analytics that help clients identify risk and maximize returns from their structured products holdings. He will extend the firm's existing balance sheet management franchise to include non-depository institutions including insurance companies and asset managers.

Meanwhile, Connelly will grow Sandler O’Neill’s fixed income distribution in the Midwest as well as further broaden the firm’s relationships with non-bank financial companies such as insurance companies and money managers.

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