SVB buys equity research firm to bolster investment banking

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SVB Financial in Santa Clara, Calif., has acquired MoffettNathanson, an equity research firm whose areas of coverage include the fast-growing technology industry.

The deal allows the buyer’s investment banking business, SVB Leerink, to expand its research coverage, SVB Financial said Monday. Until recently, SVB Leerink focused primarily on the life sciences and healthcare sectors.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SVB Financial, which expanded into investment banking in 2019 with the acquisition of Leerink Holdings, launched its technology investment banking division in September.

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“The addition of technology equity research is another important step in cementing our place as a critical partner for clients in the innovation economy,” said Greg Becker, President and CEO. of SVB Financial, in a press release.

The deal, which was completed on December 10, is the latest in a series of recent moves by SVB to grow its technology investment banking division.

The unit was launched in September when Silicon Valley Bank’s $190.1 billion asset parent company announced the formation a team specializing in mergers and acquisitions, leveraged finance and capital raising for private and public technology companies.

Last week the team hired six more investment bankers specializing in Internet, consumer/marketing software, fintech and enterprise software.

SVB entered investment banking in 2019 with its purchase of Leerink Holdingsparent company of Boston investment bank Leerink Partners.

MoffettNathanson, which is based in New York, was founded in 2013 as a technology equity research firm. Over the years, it has added coverage of the media, communications, internet, fintech, software and services industries.

All 23 MoffettNathanson employees, including founding partners Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson and partner Lisa Ellis, will join SVB Leerink, an SVB Financial spokeswoman said in an email Monday.

SVB Leerink has more than 350 employees, including about 50 technology investment bankers, the spokeswoman said.

In October, SVB Financial told analysts its expansion into technology investment banking is expected to generate additional revenue of $150 million to $200 million for SVB Leerink in 2022.

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