RBC Capital Markets has snared two pros for its expanding leveraged finance group. Bill Haffner has joined from Morgan Stanley's sponsored coverage group to be a managing director. Haffner, who had spent his entire career at Morgan Stanley, started at RBC last week. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Kelly started two weeks ago with RBC as a managing director, having left J.P. Morgan, where he spent 15 years in its leveraged finance group.
RBC has given the leveraged finance group a broader mandate to build up its capabilities, particularly with financial sponsors and a focus on the middle-market, said Ken Kencel, head of leveraged finance at RBC. The group has hired two senior people, and plans to add about six middle-level bankers over the next couple of months, he said.
RBC saw an opportunity to expand in the middle market where its competitors have drifted away, said Kencel. Many sponsor firms are not getting attention, he said, adding that the approach is to cover deal sizes that range from $75-750 million, with the sweet spot in the $250 million range. There are some 100 sponsor firms with over $500 million in their current funds doing middle-market deals that are not being well-covered, he added. RBC has been expanding its U.S. leveraged finance practice for some time, bringing over Kencel's group from Credit Agricole Indosuez in the fall of 2001. Calls to Alan Jones, head of global leveraged finance at Morgan Stanley and spokesman Mark Lake were not returned.