Cross River launches fintech investment banking franchise

Fort Lee-based Cross River Bank on Monday announced it is launching a fintech-focused investment banking strategy.

Cross River, together with CRB Securities and its parent company, CRB Group, said the new venture will assist its clients in achieving their strategic goals by advising on their most critical decisions, including mergers & acquisitions, capital markets transactions and other corporate finance matters.

The investment banking team will be a part of CRB Securities and will be led by industry veterans Benjamin Samuels and Henry Pinnell as co-heads of investment banking.

“We are proud to launch our investment banking division of our broker-dealer with two well-respected professionals in the industry, combining decades of experience in both the fintech industry and capital markets,” Gilles Gade, founder and CEO of Cross River, said. “Ben and Henry are tasked with enhancing even further our product offering to our fintech partners and beyond, enabling us to solve the distinct needs of each and every client.”

Cross River’s investment banking team will leverage its extensive experience, network and expertise in banking to provide a truly comprehensive suite of services to its fintech clients.

To date, CRB Securities has primarily focused on assisting clients with privately placed credit transactions, including asset-backed securities. CRB said the decision to expand into investment banking comes at a time of increasing demand for creative solutions in fintech and its commitment to serving every client’s strategic needs.

Samuels joins as co-head of investment banking from Morgan Stanley, where he was most recently the co-head of Alternative Capital Solutions within the Global Capital Markets group. In his role, he led the firm’s equity private placements, special purpose acquisition company and private investment in public equity efforts globally. Samuels has over a decade of experience, having previously held various roles at Cowen, Evercore and Stephens within the Capital Advisory and Financial Institutions Group, where he advised on mergers & acquisitions, capital markets and complex strategic transactions.

Pinnell joins as co-head of investment banking from SVB Securities, where he was a senior managing director and led the Fintech Investment Banking effort. Pinnell brings more than 15 years of investment banking experience in fintech and financial services, advising on milestone transactions for industry-leading companies, founders and investors in the fintech space with extensive experience originating, planning and executing strategic and financing transactions both in the private and public markets. Prior to SVB, Pinnell was a managing director in the Investment Banking Division at Barclays Bank PLC, where he led the firm’s Emerging Fintech franchise.

“I could not be more thrilled by the opportunity we have to offer the fintech community a differentiated suite of solutions coupled with unique insights informed by our own differentiated place in the fintech ecosystem,” Pinnell said. “The team has hit the ground running already, and we are excited to build alongside the industry over the coming months.”

“I have always viewed Cross River as the nucleus powering the fintech ecosystem, offering creative solutions and adapting to the market’s needs,” Samuels said. “I am excited to parlay that creativity to offering investment banking solutions where we can deliver the brand and help our clients with their most important decisions and transactions.”