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Investment bank Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. is expanding its operations in Latin America and the Caribbean by hiring veteran deal maker Gene McBurney.

Mr. McBurney has deep relationships in the mining industry and co-founded GMP Securities in 1995, leaving the executive ranks at the dealer last December, when it was acquired by St. Louis-based Stifel Financial Corp., and stepping down from the board this month. The former lawyer, aged 70, is expected to be named head of Canaccord’s growing Latin American division on Wednesday. He will be based in the Bahamas but also has a home in Colombia.

“Gene brings a rich history of entrepreneurial thinking, capital markets innovation and collaboration to his role, making him the ideal local partner to support businesses in this important geography," said Pat Burke, president of Canaccord’s capital markets operations in Canada. He called Mr. McBurney “a natural deal maker,” and said the firm’s executives spent several months trying to recruit their former rival, whom most Canaccord bankers have faced across boardroom tables.

Canaccord established a Latin American equity sales and trading team in 2017. Mr. Burke said the business plans to hire more bankers to cover domestic clients operating in Latin America, and companies in the region looking to expand globally. He said the dealer also plans to expand its wealth-management operations in the region.

Mr. McBurney is arriving at a time when mining companies are stepping up corporate finance and merger and acquisition activity, in large part because of rising gold prices. Canaccord has been part of 97 equity sales that raised a total of US$1.6-billion over the past 12 months.

Cannacord and GMP Securities focus on covering entrepreneur-owned companies and small to medium-sized businesses. Mr. Burke said: “The Caribbean and Latin American markets are very well suited to Canaccord Genuity’s core mid-market capabilities, and this development represents an exciting opportunity for our firm.”

Mr. McBurney’s departure means the four founders at GMP Securities – initially branded as Griffiths McBurney & Partners – have all now left the team. Former chief executive Kevin Sullivan left the firm in December, while legendary head trader Mike Wekerle left in 2011. Co-founder Brad Griffiths passed away in 2011 in a boating accident.

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