Finance & Insurance, News

Wunderlich Investment Company acquires SSB Securities from Sandnes Sparebank

The Memphis-based company, parent of investment firm Wunderlich Securities, Inc., establishes a presence in Norway through the acquisition of SSB Securities ASA's shares from the savings bank Sandnes Sparebank.

(Memphis/Stavanger/Oslo August 13th 2009) Wunderlich Securities is a Memphis-based full service investment firm. Established in 1996, the company has grown to become a recognized firm catering to both individual and institutional clients with financial advisory, trading and brokerage, equity research and investment banking services.

Wunderlich Securities has more than 320 associates in 13 offices in the U.S. and holds $3.5 billion U.S. of assets for its 30,000 private clients. The company has a broad client base ranging from large institutional managers to affluent private investors.

Alfred Ydstebø, whose Coil Investment Group has been the majority shareholder in Wunderlich’s parent company since late 2007 and who currently chairs the Wunderlich board, knows SSB Securities well from his base in Stavanger, Norway:

“Our clients in Norway will primarily consist of institutional investors and companies where the investment banking team can provide advisory, M&A capabilities and capital raisings. The firm’s professionals will seek to leverage the research capabilities of Wunderlich Securities in the U.S., and will also try to make its clients aware of the numerous investment opportunities brought forward in the U.S. market.”

“The acquisition of SSB Securities by Wunderlich represents a strong foundation for the firm in Norway. Wunderlich’s objective is to foster an independent platform in Norway, with offices in Stavanger and Oslo, and to ensure that it utilizes as much as possible the skills and expertise found across the Atlantic. In both the U.S. and the Norwegian markets, there are many opportunities, especially within the energy sector.”

CEO and Wunderlich founder Gary Wunderlich explains:
“Accessing the Norwegian market is a good idea for a firm like ours. We believe that SSB, working where possible with Wunderlich Securities’ U.S. teams, can offer its Norwegian clients a wide range of services with a unique approach compared to the already existing firms. Considering the local knowledge of our chairman, Alfred Ydstebø, Norway was also a natural first step outside of Wunderlich’s current borders.”

Jone Idsøe, CEO of SSB Securities, says a geographic presence in both Oslo and Stavanger will be important for the company: “The news about becoming a part of the Wunderlich organization was met with great enthusiasm by the employees in SSB Securities! This will clearly be a positive move and expand our capabilities for taking on different projects and transactions in the future. In addition this move may open up for new and alternative capital sources for our clients.”

“Sandnes Sparebank is very pleased with the future plans now being laid out for SSB Securities” says Vidar Torsøe, deputy CEO of Sandnes Sparebank. “We are satisfied with having established a regional securities firm which has made its mark within the targeted segments in a fast pace. However, Sandnes Sparebank wishes to focus on its core business and decided to accept the bid when a credible and serious offer was presented. We believe that Wunderlich will add further competence and experience, and we look forward to an affiliation with SSB Securities and its employees.”

Gary Wunderlich continues by explaining that the first phase of the firm’s expansion will come through hiring of personnel and establishing an office in Oslo. “The firm will seek to attract experienced professionals to the organization by offering a strong academic- and research driven environment with the possibility of ownership. There is already an ongoing process where the firm is talking with exciting candidates to bring forward the expansion in the Norwegian market. I got to meet several of these candidates personally during my last visit to Oslo in late July.”

Philip Zanone, who is President of Wunderlich Securities:
“Today, Wunderlich’s Equity Capital Markets division covers U.S. companies within selected industry sectors, which includes a broad approach to the energy sector. Together with our American analysts, the Norway-based analysts will start coverage of relevant Norwegian companies. Wunderlich and SSB Securities are also considering establishing focused trading desks to cater to the opportunity believed to exists in introducing Nordic companies to U.S. based institutional clients, and vice versa.”