December 1, 2023

Investment Banking

Let Your Investment Banking Do The Walking

HSBC hires dozens of SVB bankers in US push

HSBC has hired more than 40 commercial bankers who used to work at Silicon Valley Bank, the latest move by the British lender to scoop up parts of the failed tech-focused bank.

A month after HSBC acquired SVB’s UK subsidiary for £1, the bank is now hiring several dozen of its US bankers from First Citizens, which recently bought much of SVB in an auction handled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The group of ex-SVB bankers will establish a new banking practice targeting tech and healthcare companies as well as venture capital funds, HSBC said in a statement on Tuesday.

“As we look to grow our business, this offering allows us to connect the innovation ecosystem with the size, strength and international network of HSBC,” said Michael Roberts, HSBC’s US and Americas chief executive.

David Sabow, who led tech and healthcare banking at SVB, will lead the new team at HSBC, along with Sunita Patel, Katherine Andersen and Melissa Stepanis. It will be based in San Francisco, Boston and New York 

“I could not be more excited to join HSBC as they channel the full strength of their platform toward the innovation economy,” Sabow said. Sabow joined SVB in 2012 from Canaccord Genuity.

The hires are a part of an effort by HSBC to acquire start-up and venture capital clients that may be looking for new banking relationships following SVB’s collapse. Such clients are highly coveted because they require a wide range of banking services, from corporate banking to initial public offerings.

HSBC’s presence in the US includes investment banking and wealth management services, often with an emphasis on clients with an international focus. In 2021, HSBC sold its American retail banking network to Citizens Bank.

David Erickson, a Wharton professor and former investment banker, called it “a natural extension for the strategic decision they’ve already made”.

“HSBC made the decision to make the acquisition in the UK,” he said. “If you’re going to make that strategic decision you want to make sure you have a complement to that.”

In a statement, First Citizens said SVB still had “the deepest bench of experts serving the innovation economy”.

SVB collapsed in March after losses in its securities portfolio sparked a bank run in which customers pulled tens of billions of dollars in deposits. Many of SVB’s clients were venture capital funds as well as tech and healthcare start-ups.

*This article has been amended since initial publication to correct the description of the bankers’ roles.