The churn in the US analyst community is continuing with word that boutique bank HC Wainwright is dropping coverage of shipping.
Veteran shipping analyst Magnus Fyhr has been notifying clients of the exit this week after spearheading the New York-based investment bank’s entry into the sector since November 2020.
Fyhr initiated coverage then with tanker names and later broadened into the dry bulk sector while working from a Florida base.
Fyhr is one of shipping’s most senior analysts, having led the research efforts of Jefferies in the early 2000s at a time the industry had only a handful of public listings. The Jefferies team of Fyhr and investment banker John Sinders was instrumental in leading a wave of maritime initial public offerings.
He later was a managing director for Clarkson Capital Markets, where he played a key role in setting up a broker dealer license and expanding the firm’s footprint in the US.
But more recently it appears that HC Wainwright has not been able to make the kind of inroads on shipping deals it had envisaged when it took a counter-cyclical leap into the space at the outset of recovery from Covid-19.
A message to Fyhr was not returned prior to TradeWinds' deadline.
HC Wainwright touts itself as a leading placement agent for confidentially marketed public offerings, registered direct offerings and private investments in public equity.
Its website is replete with deal tombstones in sectors like health care and biotech, but shipping raises are conspicuously absent from the list.
The bank did contract with New York-listed Performance Shipping on a $5.9m at-the-market (ATM) offering earlier this year, but management of the former Diana Containerships suspended the programme in May after selling only $1.5m worth of stock.
“I’m very excited to team up with HC Wainwright at a time when a lot of other banks have exited the sector,” Fyhr had told TradeWinds in November 2020.
“They’ve seen some of the exodus and there’s an opportunity for some of the smaller banks to come in and cover the sector. There are a lot of smaller shipowners out there who are still in need of financing."
At the same time, HC Wainwright chief executive Mark Viklund was optimistic about shipping in a message to TradeWinds.
“HCW has had success taking a contrarian view of certain sectors, looking to build out while competitors are retrenching. We believe that the maritime sector is at that point and that we have the opportunity to create one of the leading franchises,” he said.