Andrew Duff — who led Piper Jaffray Cos. through the 2008 financial crisis and built it into one of the leading independent institutional investment banks outside of New York City — will retire at the end of the year.
Chad Abraham, current managing director and co-head of Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray’s investment banking and capital markets, will succeed Duff as CEO on Jan. 1. Duff has been CEO since 2000 and will retain his position as chairman.
Piper also is promoting Deb Schoneman, currently chief financial officer, to president.
“It has been a privilege to lead Piper Jaffray for 17 years and to be part of the evolution of this firm,” Duff said in a news release. “Chad and Deb have a track record that speaks for itself and they inherently understand our business, culture and values.”
Duff was CEO of Piper Jaffray when it was spun off from U.S. Bancorp in 2004 after five years of ownership by the regional bank. U.S. Bancorp had acquired the brokerage and investment bank during a wave of industry consolidation in the late 1990s.
Duff on Tuesday said developing talented staff was his most important achievement and the financial crisis his biggest challenge.
“The complete dislocation of all markets was extraordinarily challenging,” Duff said in an e-mail. “We maintained focus on our core businesses and industry relationships to emerge stronger.”
Earlier this year, Duff and the board of directors announced that Piper Jaffray would initiate a dividend program for the first time.
“The dividend reflects our high profitability levels and momentum over the past few years,” Duff said. “This cash flow has given us the opportunity to return a substantial portion to shareholders year-in, year-out in the form of a dividend.”
Piper Jaffray also announced the voluntarily resignation of Stuart Harvey, effective Dec. 31. Harvey was a managing director of Piper’s investment banking department from 1993 to 2003 before leaving to become the top executive at Ceridian Corp. and later Comdata Inc. He returned to Piper in 2015 and was promoted to president and chief operating officer in October 2016.
“Piper Jaffray and Harvey have mutually determined that they have different approaches to strategy and leadership,” the company said.
Piper had previously announced that Tim Carter, senior vice president of finance, would succeed Schoneman as CFO.