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Sandler O'Neill + Partners L.P.
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2021 Vault Rankings

At a Glance


"The culture: pleasant and amiable work environment."

"High level of responsibility/opportunity to learn and grow."


"Does not pay bulge bracket compensation."

"Very little formal training."

The Buzz

"Best FIG group on the Street"

"Decent FIG bank but not much of anything else"

"Stronger senior people than KBW, on average"

About Sandler O'Neill + Partners L.P.

Focused on financials

A privately-owned investment bank, Sandler O’Neill focuses exclusively on the financial services sector: its client list consists of banks, thrifts, broker-dealers, specialty finance companies, e-finance companies, exchanges, real estate investment trusts (REITs), insurance companies, asset and wealth managers, and financial technology companies. Its services include M&A advisory, capital raising, research, equity trading and sales, investment portfolio and interest rate risk management, fixed income securities transactions, and mortgage finance restructurings.  It also assists thrifts and insurance companies with mutual-to-stock conversions.

Sandler O’Neill + Partners was founded in New York City in 1988 by Herman S. Sandler and five other veterans of Bear Stearns. Today, Sandler O’Neill has additional offices in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Its mortgage finance division operates in Memphis. Formerly headquartered in the World Trade Center, Sandler O’Neill lost more than a third of its employees, including co-founder Herman Sandler and investment banking head Christopher Quackenbush, in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The firm's recovery from the attacks earned it respectful praise in the press; in a Newsweek feature, senior managing partner Jimmy Dunne revealed that in addition to maintaining the Sandler O’Neill Assistance Foundation for the victims’ families, the firm decided in 2007 to expand benefits to victims' families for another three years.

From 2005 through 2010, Sandler O'Neill advised on more bank and thrift mergers than any other firm, working on 190 transactions worth a total of more than $69.5 billion. The firm is also an active equity underwriter, and has recently underwritten equity offerings for big-name clients such as Citigroup, E*TRADE, PNC Financial, and Primerica. It currently employs 341 people.

Rebuilding post-September 11

The tragedy made some significant differences in the way Sandler O’Neill does business, most notably in terms of Dunne’s own leadership style.  “Having the luxury of Chris Quackenbush and Herman Sandler before September 11th allowed me to play a hard-edged, tough, deliver-the-news-with-no-Novocain kind of guy,” Dunne told Newsweek.  With the firm's loss, his approach “had to” change.  Dunne’s diligence and relentless focus played a major role in rebuilding Sandler O’Neill’s business in 2001 and 2002.  “I’m kind of a nut on the figures,” he said, “so I kept all our [financial] figures at my home.  I’d go through them overnight.  And that was extremely helpful in rebuilding.  At one point all we had was that.” Sandler has not recorded a monthly loss since September 2001. And 10 years after the tragedy of 9/11, the firm employs twice as many people as it did before the attacks. In 2012, it will move into a new headquarters on the Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan that is nearly double the square footage of its current offices on Third Avenue.



Sandler O'Neill + Partners L.P.

919 Third Avenue
Sixth Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 466-7800

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Senior Managing Principal: James J. "Jimmy" Dunne III
2011 Employees (All Locations): 341

Major Office Locations

San Francisco, CA
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
Boston, MA
New York, NY