Sandler O'Neill and Partners

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Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P
Industry Investment banking
Founded 1988; 28 years ago (1988)
Headquarters 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York, US
Key people
James J. Dunne III, Senior Managing Principal
Jonathan J. Doyle, Senior Managing Principal

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., (Sandler O’Neill) is a full-service investment banking firm and broker-dealer specializing in the financial services sector.[1] It is headquartered in New York City, and has offices in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta. The firm also operates a mortgage finance company and registered investment adviser based in Memphis.

Sandler O’Neill provides investment banking services to financial institutions and their investors. Its services include merger and acquisition advisory, capital markets, fixed income sales and trading, and equity sales and trading, equity research, balance sheet management, mortgage finance, and consulting services. The firm publishes research on about 300 financial institutions across the United States.

Despite shifts in the way similar Wall Street firms are run, Sandler O’Neill has retained its private partnership structure, and it is currently the largest private investment bank dedicated to the financial sector.[2] It perennially ranks among the top advisers on bank and thrift mergers as well as in capital raising.


Sandler O'Neill's largest office is at 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. was founded in 1988 by Herman S. Sandler and five other executives from the firm Bear Stearns. Though today it serves companies of all sizes, the firm was founded with an emphasis on community and mid-size banks, as its founders saw that smaller financial institutions were underserved by the existing advisement system.[2] Six months after the foundation of the firm, Christopher Quackenbush left Merrill Lynch to build Sandler’s investment banking group. Two years after Sandler’s establishment it formed Sandler O’Neill Mortgage Finance, an affiliate of Sandler O’Neill + Partners. The affiliate is currently headquartered in Memphis but maintains an office in New York City separate from the firm’s headquarters.

In 1993, the company moved to Two World Trade Center from Two Wall Street. The same year, Sandler O'Neill opened an equity sales and trading division. The following year, the firm began publishing equity research, focusing on community banks and other financial institutions.

Sandler O'Neill has four satellite offices in addition to its main office in New York City. The first was opened in Boston in 1998. Offices in Atlanta and San Francisco were opened in 2003. A final satellite office was opened in 2004 in Chicago.

Today, the firm ranks among the best performing investment banking firms, advising financial firms on strategic and financial initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions and capital raising. It is one of the last privately held investment banks on Wall Street, after other firms went public, including Goldman Sachs in the early 2000s. In 2010, the firm sold a substantial minority to two private equity firms: the Carlyle Group and Kelso & Company.[3] The firm is led by James J. Dunne III, who left Bear Stearns in 1988 to help found Sandler, and Jonathan Doyle, who joined the firm in 1990.[4] Both serve as senior managing principals of the firm.[5] Sandler O'Neill celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.[2]

September 11th attacks[edit]

On September 11, 2001 the firm which was headquartered on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center lost 66 of its 171 employees, 40 percent of its overall workforce. One third of the firm’s partners, almost the entire equity desk, the entire syndicate desk, and all of the firm’s bond traders died during the attack.[6] Among those lost were Herman Sandler, and Christopher Quackenbush, two of the three senior executives who managed the firm. In addition to personnel, the company lost its entire computer system and nearly all of its records in the destruction.

On Sept. 19th, three days after the U.S. financial markets reopened, Dunne said on CNBC that Sandler O'Neill was open for business, having restarted operations as early as September 12.[6] After the attacks, the firm operated temporarily out of the Solow Building, in space provided by Banc of America. In early 2002, Sandler O'Neill moved from the Solow Building to 919 Third Avenue.[6] The firm remained in that building until another move in 2012.

Business groups[edit]

Sandler O’Neill has six main business groups. Each group focuses on financial services companies such banks, thrifts, insurance companies, asset managers, REITs, and financial technology companies.[7]

Investment banking[edit]

The investment banking group provides strategic and financial advice to financial institutions, often advising on capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, and conversion and demutualization transactions.[7]

Capital raising[edit]

The capital raising group helps organizations determine the best arrangement of capital offerings, and provides. It provides equity solutions such as follow-on offerings, IPOs, private placements, and recapitalizations as well as debt solutions such as convertible securities, medium term notes, perpetual preferred securities, and corporate debt offerings.

Fixed income[edit]

Sandler O'Neill’s fixed income desk trades fixed income products such as RMBS, ABS, CMBS, corporates, and municipals to address client needs. The Balance Sheet Analysis and Strategy group works under the fixed income desk to help determine needs and strategy on a client by client basis.

Equity sales and trading[edit]

Equity sales and trading helps financial institutions gain exposure with institutional investors. Sandler O'Neill trades equities on all exchanges, and has worked closely with companies’ senior management teams on transactions including corporate buybacks, portfolio valuations, rebalancings, and liquidations.

Equity Research[edit]

Sandler O’Neill publishes equity research on about 300 financial services companies for institutional investors. It hosts three conferences annually to help clients learn more about the companies it covers. The firm’s analysts have earned industry honors for earnings estimate accuracy and for stock selection. Richard Repetto, a Principal in the research group, won Analyst of the Year from the Financial Times in 2010.[8]

Mortgage finance[edit]

Sandler O’Neill Mortgage Finance (SOMF) helps clients manage and better utilize their portfolios of loans and leases by performing analysis, qualification, and valuation of mortgages, mortgage servicing, and real estate assets. SOMF executes secondary market purchases, sales and securitization transactions for performing, sub-performing, and non-performing residential, consumer, multi-family, and commercial mortgage loans.

Milestone Transactions[edit]

Sandler O’Neill has advised the following companies or managed the following deals:

  • Virtu Financial Inc.’s $362.1 million Initial Public Offering
  • City National Bank in its announced $5.3 billion merger with Royal Bank of Canada
  • Sterling Financial Corporation in its $2.2 billion merger with Umpqua Holdings Corporation
  • Knight Capital Group in its $1.2 billion sale to GETCO
  • Capitol Federal Financial, Inc. in its $1.2 billion second-step conversion from the mutual holding company form of organization to the stock form of organization
  • Countrywide Financial Corporation in its $2.5 billion merger with Bank of America Corporation
  • Compass Bancshares, Inc. in its $9.5 billion merger with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.
  • Sky Financial Group, Inc. in its $3.3 billion merger with Huntington Bancshares Incorporated
  • Mercantile Bankshares Corporation in its $6 billion merger with PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • North Fork Bancorporation, Inc. in its $13.3 billion merger with Capital One Financial Corporation

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "An Overview". Sandler O'Neill. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Sandler, O'Neill (4 April 2013). "A Letter to Our Clients" (PDF). Sandler O'Neill. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Staff, Dealbook (4 November 2010). "Sandler O'Neill Sells a Stake to Carlyle and Kelso". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Dickson, Martin (13 January 2014). "View from the top: Jon Doyle, Sandler O'Neill". The Financial Times. 
  5. ^ Craig, Susanne. "Proudly Private, a Wall Street Brokerage Firm Marches On". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ a b c Brooker, Katrina (21 January 2002). "Starting Over When the planes slammed into the World Trade Center". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Bloomberg (6 July 2015). "Company Overview of Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P.". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Serdarevic, Masa (14 May 2010). "Getting the big picture right pays off: Analyst of the Year: Richard Repetto". The Financial Times. 

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