Solar drives Fifth Third to add investment bankers
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Solar drives Fifth Third to add investment bankers

Fifth Third is the latest US regional bank to grasp an opportunity to build out its investment bank, by bolting new expertise on to an area in which it already has a strong presence.

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Conditions are proving attractive for regional investment banks in the US to build organically or through acquisitions – and sometimes via the middle ground of bringing in a team from another firm.

The last few months have seen Capital One announce the acquisition of investment banking boutique KippsDeSanto; Regions Bank absorb investment adviser Highland Associates; and Fifth Third take on a San Francisco-based renewables team from MVP Capital, another investment banking boutique.

The new Fifth Third group comprises 12 bankers and will complement the firm's 13-strong renewable energy finance practice. The investment banking unit will be led by Timothy Beach, Ari Citrin and Oliver Janssen, all joining from MVP. The group will report to Rob Schipper, head of investment banking.

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Eric Cohen, Fifth Third

The move is part of Fifth Third's broader build in the San Francisco market: this week it announced the hire of Peter Gruebele from Wells Fargo as San Francisco market executive, reporting to Joseph Yurosek, California market president.

Eric Cohen is the head of Fifth Third's existing renewable energy finance group, based in North Carolina, where a combination of tax credits and an abundance of land has stimulated the growth of the solar industry in recent years.

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