A few weeks ago, Los Angeles-based investment bank, Wedbush Securities, announced the hiring of Kevin Merritt, CFA to the role of Managing Director, Director of Equity Research. Mr. Merritt will be based in Wedbush’s New York office and will report to the bank’s Head of Equities, Kirsten Fraunces.
Wedbush’s New Director of Research
After spending almost 20 years on both the sell and buy-side as an analyst and portfolio manager, Kevin Merritt most recently joined Wedbush Securities as Managing Director, Director of Equity Research.
Prior to joining the firm, Kevin spent more than two years as Deputy Director of Research at Aptigon Capital, a division of Citadel. Previously, Mr. Merritt worked for more than 1.5 years as Managing Director and Partner at Sterling Ridge Capital Management. Before his stint at Sterling Ridge, Kevin spent more than two years as an investor at Sandler Capital Management, more than two years as a PM at Plural Investments, and more than two years as an investment manager at Citadel Investment Group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Merritt spent more than eight years as an analyst at SAC Capital, Fiduciary Trust, and Piper Jaffray. Kevin received his Bachelor of Science in Management Systems and Finance from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his MBA in International Finance from INSEAD in France. He is also a CFA® Charterholder.
Kirsten Fraunces, Managing Director and Head of Equities at Wedbush Securities commented on Kevin Merritt’s hiring, “We are pleased to welcome Kevin and see him as being instrumental in driving performance for the Wedbush research platform, with a focus on alpha generation. His depth of experience on the buy side is going to complement our award-winning research team and amplify our client partnerships.”
Wedbush Securities’ equity research group is comprised of over 20 research analysts, covering more than 250 stocks in the consumer, healthcare, technology, and financial institutions sectors, with a particular emphasis on small and mid-cap companies. In addition, the firm employs a dedicated retail channel checking team with channel checking specialists in Chicago, San Jose, and Orange County.
Wedbush’s hiring of Mr. Merritt makes considerable sense, as their previous DOR Jesse Bigelow, left to join Wolfe Research as Associate Director of Research in December 2018. Bigelow was named Wedbush’s DOR in May 2017 after their previous Director of Research, Gil Luria, was poached by D.A. Davidson.
In addition to adding Merritt, Wedbush has only added one new senior research analyst in the past few years, a SMID Internet analyst who was hired in September 2018. It is unclear that the addition of Merritt indicates that Wedbush is planning to become any more aggressive in expanding its research team than it has in the past.