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Former Sandler exec joins Hovde Group to start financial strategy practice

Financial services-focused investment bank Hovde Group LLC has tapped an industry veteran to lead a new strategy advisory practice for community and regional banks.

Ray Chandonnet will work with Hovde's clients on balance sheet, funding, liquidity, capital and interest rate risk management strategies, among other topics. Chandonnet will also advise Hovde's senior management on potential opportunities for the firm, particularly in fintech.

Chairman and CEO Steven Hovde said building a balance sheet advisory practice was a "logical 'next step'" for the company.

The hire marks a return to investment banking for Chandonnet, who most recently operated his own consulting firm. He was partner and chief balance sheet strategist at Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP until 2014.