Unstructured Finance

Flowers, TD also bid on BankUnited

BankUnitedFlorida’s BankUnited drew bids from two other groups besides the winning consortium of private equity powerhouses in the FDIC-run auction. 

The other two bidding groups included J.C. Flowers & Co and Toronto Dominion bank, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Regulators seized the troubled Florida lender last month and sold it to a consortium that includes Wilbur Ross’s WL Ross, Carlyle Group, Blackstone and Centerbridge Partners.

Private equity firms have increasingly turned their attention to banking as the number of troubled U.S. banks and thrifts increases, although BankUnited was not the first failed bank to be bought by private investors.

Hedge fund and private equity investors, including Flowers, bought the assets of failed U.S. mortgage lender IndyMac earlier this year, for example.

Old faces, new roles

BankUnitedThe financial crisis appears to be creating some jobs for at least one group of people – former banking executives.

As private equity firms turn their attention to banks, they are seeking out retired chiefs and other senior executives with banking experience to lead their investments and run the banks they buy. 

Besides their operational experience, these executives bring to the table a crucial quality that can sometimes make or break a group’s bid to take over a bank – street cred with U.S. banking regulators.

The clock is ticking for BankUnited

Florida condominiumsSome people thought Florida lender BankUnited would be sold months ago as regulators fretted over its health amid the housing downturn. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp tends to take over banks on Fridays as it gives them the weekend to put an institution’s business in order and re-open it under new management by Monday. So the question was, is this the Friday?

The government has given BankUnited some leeway to try to work out a deal. That flexibility may be because the bank has some $13 billion of assets, and disposing of a bank that big could result in a real hit to the FDIC’s insurance fund, Raymond James analyst Michael Rose told Reuters in February.

Job Bank – Oct. 20

The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Oct. 20, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please send an e-mail to moves@thomsonreuters.com.


BankUnited Financial, the parent of BankUnited FSB, said Chairman and Chief Executive Alfred Camner will retire as an officer and director of the parent company and the bank on Monday. Ramiro Ortiz, current president and chief operating officer, has been named president and CEO.


The Boston Options Exchange is expanding its operations to include a Washington, D.C. office to work closely with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as it works towards becoming a national securities exchange. Wayne Pestone will serve as chief legal officer. He previously worked at Bingham McCutchen LLP, providing counsel to exchanges on market regulation, surveillance and compliance for both equity and options trading.