Veteran investment banker switches firms late in game

He might be 70, but this veteran investment banker isn’t hanging up his jersey just yet.

John Reed mugJohn Reed

John Reed, one of the state’s leading experts in bank mergers and acquisitions, recently took a job at local investment firm City Securities Corp. after spending 23 years with the Indianapolis office of Chicago-based David A. Noyes & Co. Starting Monday he’ll be working in the mergers and acquisitions space, but also honing his newfound expertise in senior-living corporate finance.

“I like being in the game. I like the hunt. I like being active,” Reed told IBJ.

The move is significant for City Securities, said Executive Vice President Brian Baker. Before the hire, the firm had more opportunities to serve in those niche areas “than we had the ability to execute,” he said.

“[Reed] is exceedingly well known in our industry as the pre-eminent advisor to mergers and acquisitions in the commercial banking industry—certainly in Indiana but also throughout the Midwest," Baker said.

With a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston University and an MBA from Rutgers University, Reed started his career on Wall Street in 1969. He moved to Indianapolis in 1985 after changes in Indiana banking laws prompted a wave of bank consolidations. In 1991, he joined advisory firm David A. Noyes & Co. and remained there until last week.

Reed said he thought about retiring shortly after turning 69 in December 2012, but then changed his mind the following November. For the most part, he enjoyed his job and the people he worked with. And the prospect of idle retirement time wasn’t too encouraging.

“If you look at people my age, some of them are still working and some aren’t. And there’s a qualitative difference between the two," Reed said about elderly brain activity.

Baker said he reached out to Reed through a mutual industry colleague in recent months. For Reed, it was an opportunity to tailor his job more to his liking.

“I liked the majority,” he said about his previous job, “but parts of it were getting tedious, and I was running out of steam. Then these guys approached me, and I said ‘You know what, what the heck?’ So I feel 10 years younger, partly because I’m hanging out with guys that are 30 years younger. It’s a fresh start.”

David A. Noyes CEO and President Mark Damer, who’s based in Indianapolis, said Reed’s exit follows Noyes’ hiring of two former City Securities employees in April: investment bankers Bob Welch and Jim Huse.

Damer said Reed is the undoubtedly the state’s foremost authority on bank-to-bank investment transactions. But activity in that area has been slow lately, Damer said, so Noyes has been revamping its capital markets group.

“So we took two younger people who are more broadly focused in mergers and acquisitions and increased our capabilities significantly,” Damer said.

“We certainly wish John the best,” Damer said. “He’s had a great number of years with us.”


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