Ladenburg Thalman Continues to Beef Up


New York – News out of Miami yesterday indicates that small-cap specialist Ladenburg Thalman continues to execute a bulking up  strategy. The firm announced that it is expanding client offerings with two key appointments and the creation of the Alpha Strategy Group. Ladenburg Thalman has been a New York based a investment firm for over 100 years. In 2006, the firm moved into the investment banking business, prompted by investment by Phillip Frost. The appointments included Michael Margolies as the head of the new Alpha Strategy Group (ex-Avalon CEO) and Amelia Balonek as a healthcare analyst.

Amelia Balonek has specific specialization in the medical devices area and has over 10 years of equity research experience. She will be based in the headquarters in Miami Florida.

Michael Margolies was the CEO of Avalon Research Group until it was sold to BCA Research in 2005. He has been appointed to head up the new Alpha Strategy Group. The Alpha Strategy Group will be focused on PIPE transactions, as well as research and capital market activities on a short list of companies. The Alpha Strategy Group will be headquartered in Boca Raton.

In the current environment that pressures mid- and small-sized broker dealers, Ladenburg has decided to play offense, rather than defense. Over the past several years Ladenburg Thalman has moved its headquarters to Florida become and investment bank and is now ramping up its research and other services.  

Phillip Frost, Chairman, is a Physician-entrepreneur that has already built two pharmaceutical empires turned his attention to Ladenburg Thalman in 2006 and quickly engineering a merger with Capitalink–a Coral Gables investment bank to get the firm into the IB business. Under the guidance of Frost the firm reduced its debt by $5.0 million by converting it to equity and by making a cash payment of  about $1.5 million to debtholders. In addition, Ladenburg purchased Investacorp which has an estimated $8.5 billion in AUM.

While Ladenburg is executing one of the more dynamic growth strategies, the Ladenburg approach is far from unique. The changing regulatory landscape and the practice of using CSAs and CCAs has created addition pressure on the mid-sided brokers to either specialize, beef up research or to move upstream to investment banking.


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