MUFG has hired Silicon Valley Bank’s former head of corporate banking and four other ex-SVB senior executives to bolster its technology, media and telecommunications unit, the Japanese bank’s U.S. subsidiary said Wednesday.
Bob Blee, who had served as SVB’s Bay Area-based corporate-banking chief since 2014, has joined MUFG as managing director and head of growth and middle-market technology banking for the Americas, MUFG said.
In all, MUFG is adding 20 bankers in a move the bank hopes will “[accelerate] MUFG’s growth aspirations” three years after the TMT unit’s launch.
“With this strategic investment, MUFG will now be able to deliver full-service banking capabilities throughout our clients' growth lifecycles, including lending, cash management, interest rate and foreign exchange risk management, capital markets access and advisory capabilities through our Intrepid subsidiary,” said MUFG Americas CEO Kevin Cronin.
The move is perhaps MUFG’s most significant in the U.S. since it offloaded its West Coast retail footprint onto U.S. Bank in an $8 billion transaction that closed in December.
Cronin, as far back as September 2021, said the U.S. Bank deal would allow MUFG to focus “on accelerating growth in our Americas wholesale businesses,” specifically highlighting corporate and investment banking.
MUFG’s move also comes roughly a week after HSBC’s U.S. unit announced it had hired more than 40 SVB investment bankers for a new practice aimed at courting tech, healthcare and venture capital clients.
HSBC, too, downsized its U.S. branch presence in 2021 — meaning the first two large-scale migrations of SVB talent have been to foreign banks who had de-emphasized one segment of banking in the U.S. to reinvest in another.
At SVB, Blee managed relationships with public and late-stage private companies in the U.S. tech sector. He previously served as a market, region and division manager in California and the Midwest, leading efforts in seed, early- and mid-stage infrastructure, hardware, consumer internet, enterprise software and fintech banking, MUFG said.
The bank also hired four former SVB executives to operate beneath Blee as managing directors.
Brian Boatman will be the TMT unit’s Seattle-based head of sales. Boatman, who joined SVB in 2001, oversaw SVB’s corporate-banking practice in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, South and the Midwest. He previously served as a vice president and loan officer in U.S. Bank’s corporate-banking group.
Brian Fitzpatrick is joining MUFG as head of venture-capital relationship management and the Northern California region. An SVB member since 2010, he was responsible for the Northern California market, overseeing relationships for software, hardware, internet and fintech clients and hardware sectors. Fitzpatrick previously worked at Comerica for five years.
Mike Shuhy will serve as MUFG’s Boston-based head of credit solutions. He joined SVB in 2012 as vice president of corporate finance, according to his LinkedIn profile, and previously spent more than 11 years at Merrill Lynch, ending as vice president of technology banking.
John Atanasoff, previously SVB’s credit risk manager, is joining MUFG as a dedicated credit partner, the bank said.
“This talent acquisition will … further solidify our end-to-end coverage model in Technology Banking from earlier-stage private companies through large-cap multinationals,” Bill Davidson, MUFG’s global head of TMT banking, said Wednesday.
Blee will report to Davidson.