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Amherst and Pierpoint announce merger

Company will be known as Amherst Pierpont Securities

Amherst Securities and Pierpoint Securities announced that they intend to merge.

Amherst, a fixed-income broker-dealer that focuses on mortgage-related, asset-backed and structured finance investments, is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Pierpoint, located in Stamford, Connecticut, is also a fixed-income broker-deal, but its previous focus was on rates and credit products.

The combined company will be known as Amherst Pierpoint Securities. The company’s new mission will be to provide institutional and middle-market clients with access to a broad range of fixed-income products including residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed and other highly-structured finance transactions, U.S. Treasuries, federal agency debentures, investment grade corporate securities and repo finance.

Amherst Pierpoint will be led by Mark Werner, who is the current CEO of Pierpoint, and Joseph Walsh, the current president of Amerherst Holdings, which is parent company of Amerherst Securities. Both men will retain their previous titles with the new company. Thomas Connor, who was the president of Pierpoint, will serve as chief operating officer for the new company.

“Combining Amherst’s unparalleled leadership in mortgage-related securities and Pierpont’s liquid product-related offerings will create a scalable platform that will have an unmatched ability to capture future growth opportunities,” Werner said. “We have long respected Amherst’s impressive capabilities in the mortgage space and look forward to leveraging Pierpont’s strengths to grow the combined firm.”

Amherst Pierpoint will have nearly 200 employees spread across 19 offices. The merged company will be headquartered in Stamford, with sales and trading hubs in Stamford and New York City.

“Together, Amherst and Pierpont are poised to compete with broker-dealers of all sizes, and through the complementary strengths of both firms, are well equipped to meet the diverse and evolving needs of fixed-income clients in today’s challenging market,” said Walsh. “This combination demonstrates a strong commitment to growth at a time when many institutions are reducing their investment in their fixed-income businesses.”

According to the merger announcement, the company will also offer “industry-leading analytics, an enhanced trading platform and a broader distribution network.” Additionally, the company said that it expects to “have the scale and infrastructure to support a diverse set of trading and banking businesses.”

Amherst was the subject of a high-profile departure in September, when Laurie Goodman left the company to join the Urban Institute. Goodman was named a 2012 Woman of Influence by HousingWire and is a regular fixture on the pages of and HousingWire Magazine. She remains an active conference panelist in the industry as well.

When she left Amherst, HousingWire’s executive editor Jacob Gaffney wrote, “The move is a perfect fit for Goodman. Her hallmark is always to fight for the voice of small guy, and at Amherst that was the private securitization investor. Goodman would thus fall sometimes against the will of bigger financial institutes and Wall Street interests.”

With the merger of Amherst and Pierpoint, the company said it is poised for future growth and expects to be leader in the fixed-income and advisory markets.

The merger is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

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