Mining Bankers Depart as Casimir Shifts Focus to Energy

Casimir Capital Ltd. employees will acquire 75 percent of the closely held investment bank and focus on the oil and natural gas sector while cutting positions in its mining group.

“The top producers at Casimir Canada have orchestrated a partnership buy-in,” Managing Director of Investment Banking Adam Thomas, who will become president and chief executive officer of the company, said in a phone interview today.

Thomas said Karen Mate, head of institutional equity sales, and Mike Dilay, head of institutional trading, will lead the deal alongside him. The three will become the largest equity holders in the new partnership.

Casimir founder and current owner Richard Sands will keep 25 percent of the firm and remain CEO of Casimir Capital LP, its New York-based U.S. affiliate. Riley Keast, who was CEO of the Canadian company, has resigned, Thomas said.

A slowdown in fund raising by Canadian mining exploration and development companies is hurting brokers and bankers who focus on the industry. Equity sales by Canadian mining companies in the first six months of this year fell to $845.2 million, the smallest total since 2005 and a level 83 percent below the 2009 peak, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Fraser Mackenzie Ltd., a Toronto-based investment dealer, said in April its shareholders voted to wind up the company partly because of reduced institutional investor interest in early-stage mining and oil and gas companies.

Casimir has fired about 18 people across its offices in Toronto, New York, Calgary and London, including a “significant chunk” of its mining group, Thomas said. The trading desk remains intact and the company will be 80 percent focused on business from companies in the oil industry, he said.

Keast confirmed his resignation in a phone interview today. Sands didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

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