22nd February 2024

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Business Industry and Financial

TD hires more U.S. investment bankers amid broader layoffs

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A Toronto-Dominion Bank sign in Ottawa, on Sept. 7, 2022.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

As Toronto-Dominion Bank TD-T prepares to cut thousands of jobs, head count is still climbing in one part of the business.

TD announced nearly a dozen new hires for its U.S. investment banking, equity sales and research teams on Monday as the lender seeks to maintain momentum with its U.S. expansion plans. The planned expansion of its global financial institutions group comes less than one week after the bank said it would reduce its work force by 3 per cent, representing roughly 3,000 people, in response to rising expenses and a sharp decline in profit.

The expanded financial institutions team – which offers investment banking services to large financial entities such as other banks, insurance companies and asset managers – will be co-led by veteran TD investment banker Geoff Bertram in Toronto and Jim Spencer in New York. Mr. Spencer had most recently spent nearly a decade as head of Americas for the Credit Suisse Financial Institutions Group.

Michael Giudice, Alston Lambert, Arvind Sriram, David Stolzar, Eric Tell and Taryn Widén will also join the team led by Mr. Bertram and Mr. Spencer, TD said. All six of them had previously worked with Mr. Spencer at Credit Suisse in New York, according to their LinkedIn profiles, before more recently joining TD’s Cowen division.

TD bought Cowen Inc., an independent investment bank based in New York with 1,700 employees, for US$1.3-billion in August of 2022.

Scott Smith will join TD’s global markets team as managing director of equity sales. Bill Katz, Andrew Kligerman and Moshe Orenbuch will join the research team as senior analysts.

Mr. Smith and all three new members of the research team also previously worked at Credit Suisse in New York before joining Cowen within the past four months.

Shortly after the Cowen deal closed earlier this year, TD relocated Sante Corona from Toronto to New York to serve as co-head of the bank’s global equity capital markets business alongside Grant Miller, who previously ran Cowen’s capital markets group. The shuffle reflected a key aspect of TD’s plan to integrate Cowen’s work force into its own investment banking decision by placing one TD executive and one Cowen executive in charge of each major division.

The expansion of the financial institutions group deviates from that strategy to some extent, as the new hires hail exclusively from Credit Suisse and most have only a few months of experience working with the Cowen team.

TD is refocusing efforts on its decade-long plan to build a stronger cross-border capital markets business after being forced to abandon its US$13.4-billion takeover of Tennessee-based First Horizon Corp. earlier this month. That would have been TD’s largest-ever acquisition and would have provided the Canadian bank with a major foothold in the U.S. Southeast.

The lender is still awaiting the outcome of multiple regulatory and law-enforcement investigations, including a U.S. Justice Department probe related to TD’s anti-money-laundering practices. Analysts have estimated TD could face between US$500-million and US$1-billion in fines related to those investigations.