AltaCorp Expands Trading Desk as Rivals Reduce in Slump

AltaCorp Capital Inc. Chief Executive Officer George Gosbee is expanding the financial advisory firm’s institutional trading desk in Toronto to capture talent while other banks cut.

AltaCorp, based in Calgary, hired seven traders in Toronto, bringing the company’s headcount to 51 people. The additions follow the move by Vancouver-based Haywood Securities Inc. to cut 7 percent of its workforce and the exit of Stifel Financial Corp. from Canada last month amid a slump in mining and energy deals.

“I always like to be the contrarian,” Gosbee said in a phone interview today. “It’s investing counter-cyclically. You have to strike while people are available.”

AltaCorp perceives a current lack of “market-making activity” in the resource sector, Gosbee said. He estimates a busy next couple of months for energy mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings in Canada, after a slow three years, he said. The company also hired another research analyst in Toronto, it said in a statement today.

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