Hovde Group (“Hovde”), a leading full-service investment bank and broker dealer that provides investment banking, capital markets, equity research, and sales and trading services focused on the financial services sector, today announced that it has formed a new practice to provide financial strategy advisory services to regional and community banks. To head this new effort, the firm has hired industry veteran Ray Chandonnet, 53, who joins Hovde following a distinguished thirty-year career working extensively with banking clients in the areas of asset-liability management, corporate finance, fixed income sales, and FinTech.
Mr. Chandonnet, who holds degrees in computer science and finance, has been involved in the banking sector since 1986. He launched his career as a banking software designer and financial modeler for the Malden Trust Company in Massachusetts; he spent the next 20 years of his career working with banks as Head of Bank Strategy for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, First Union Capital Markets, Lehman Brothers, and JPMorgan, and more recently, as Partner and Chief Balance Sheet Strategist at Sandler O’Neill & Partners. For the past several years, Mr. Chandonnet has operated his own consulting firm, BankStrategies.net, providing consulting, training and business development services to banking regulators, investment banks/broker dealers, the FHLB system, and FinTech companies that are focused on depositories. Mr. Chandonnet also serves as a member of the board of directors of Kearny Bank and Kearny Financial Corp., a publicly-traded $6.5 billion banking company in New Jersey, where he chairs the board’s asset-liability management committee and serves on the Enterprise Risk management committee.
Mr. Chandonnet’s expertise in using accounting, regulatory and tax knowledge to develop new financial management strategies and successfully introduce them to the community and regional bank space has made him a household name in banking. His pioneering techniques around bank balance sheet optimization, wholesale funding restructuring, post-M&A balance sheet repositioning, and use of derivatives to reduce funding costs have been widely adopted across the industry. More recently, he has also built a reputation for understanding the importance of technological transformation in the banking system and has fostered collaboration between FinTech companies and banks to improve bank financial performance via reduced efficiency ratios and increased avenues for non-interest income.
At Hovde, Mr. Chandonnet will spearhead the build-out of the new financial strategy advisory practice, and work extensively with the firm’s clients on balance sheet, funding, liquidity, capital, portfolio and interest rate risk management strategy. In addition, Mr. Chandonnet will work closely with Hovde’s senior management team to pursue other new opportunities for the firm, particularly in the area of FinTech, and its evolving relationship with the banking sector. Mr. Chandonnet and his team will be based in the New York metro area.
“We are thrilled to add the premier strategist in the sector to help us build our new balance sheet advisory practice, which we see as a logical “next step” in our effort to provide an unrivaled suite of products and services to our banking clientele,” commented Steven Hovde, Chairman and CEO. “Ray’s wealth of experience will be of tremendous value across all of the firm’s existing business lines, and in new areas, such as FinTech, where I plan to work personally with Ray to develop these new opportunities for the firm.”
Chandonnet added, “In returning to investment banking, I couldn’t be more delighted to join forces with Hovde Group, who are universally respected and admired in the banking industry for their abilities, integrity, innovativeness, and singular focus on community / regional banks. With bank margins being challenged by market conditions, and digitization of banking growing rapidly, combining my skills in those areas with Hovde’s reach in the industry will bring game-changing solutions to our clients.”