Thomas O’Connell has joined Dallas-based Hilltop Securities Sherman Oaks office.
O’Connell, whose title is senior vice president and advisor recruiter, will report to Jeff Stewart, Hilltop’s managing director and head of business development. He will also work alongside Hilltop’s leadership team to expand the firm’s Pacific Coast division. Hilltop has eight locations in California. In addition to its branch in Sherman Oaks, it also has one in Encino.
“Thomas will be an incredible asset to Hilltop Securities,” Stewart said in a statement. “His experience will allow us to build upon our Pacific Coast division while strengthening our current team.”
O’Connell has more than 28 years of experience in the securities industry and has worked as a registered representative, assistant trader, operations manager, and marketing representative. Prior to joining Hilltop, he spent 16 years at Western International Securities, where he served most recently as associate director of new business development.
“I look forward to embedding myself with Hilltop Securities and developing trusted, meaningful relationships,” O’Connell said in a statement. “The opportunity to collaborate with the new business development team and with a firm that carries a storied culture is more than infectious.”
O’Connell is a part of a larger hiring plan by Hilltop, which announced in January the addition of 12 investment bankers to its public finance division in California and New York. One of those bankers, AJ Prager, joined the Sherman Oaks branch as senior vice president.
The expansion efforts come after last year, when the firm brought in $1.28 billion in revenue and $113 million in net income, both of which mark decreases from the full-year results of 2021. The profit margin last year was also down from 2021, driven by lower revenue.
“Headwinds during 2022, including the impact of tight housing inventories on mortgage volumes, declining deposit balances, rapid increases in market interest rates and a declining economic forecast, are expected to continue to have an adverse impact on our operating results during 2023,” the company said in a statement.
The impact of this year’s headwinds remains uncertain and will depend on external developments that are outside of the firm’s control, including inflationary pressures, treasury yields, mortgage interest rates and labor market conditions, according to Hilltop.
“Although we experienced a challenging operating environment in 2022, Hilltop still generated consolidated profitability and finished the year a more resilient company,” Jeremy B. Ford, president and chief executive of Hilltop, said in a statement.
Ford added that abrupt market shifts in the mortgage and fixed-income businesses had a negative impact on Hilltop and PrimeLending, a Hilltop subsidiary. PlainsCapital Bank, another subsidiary, delivered across all its key priorities, including prudent loan growth, sound credit quality and efficiency.
“Additionally, our focus on maintaining a strong balance sheet with significant capital and liquidity has positioned Hilltop for long-term success regardless of interest rate and economic volatility,” Ford said in a statement. “Finally, I am very pleased that Hilltop returned a record amount of capital to stockholders during 2022, primarily through our successful tender offer share repurchase completed in May.”