New York, NY – Early last week, Los Angeles-based investment bank, B. Riley & Co., LLC announced that it was acquiring San Diego-based investment bank Caris & Company to increase its sales and trading business despite an overall slowdown in the U.S. brokerage industry. Details of the transaction were not released.
B. Riley, founded in 1997, is adding nine analysts, twelve salesmen and four traders in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and Atlanta as a result of the acquisition. The combined company will have approximately 95 employees.
Bryant Riley, Chairman of B. Riley explained the rationale for the move, “This acquisition is consistent with our growth strategy to assemble experienced professionals who share our disciplined approach to research, sales, trading and investment banking.”
“In addition to several top ranked research analysts, the sales and trading professionals joining B. Riley will double our distribution capabilities and further strengthen our ability to market larger transactions,” he added.
B. Riley’s acquisition of Caris & Company is clearly a move to increase its market share in a shrinking market as a number of small investment banks and broker dealers have shuttered their doors in the current difficult market environment. Think Equity Partners, Rodman & Renshaw, WJB Capital Group, and Ticonderoga Securities are just a few of the smaller firms that have closed down in the past year.
The acquisition of Caris & Company will also enable B. Riley to expand their coverage universe and increase the market capitalization of the companies they cover. Such a move should help B. Riley better serve its institutional customer base.
Caris & Company founder Darren Caris will assume the newly created position, Director of Capital Markets, Research, Sales and Trading. B. Riley President John Ahn will continue as head of Corporate Finance, overseeing their growing corporate finance division.