SenaHill Partners, the Financial Technology Sector's Merchant Bank Reaches Agreement with Sandler O'Neill + Partners

Firm launches SenaHill Advisors,building the preeminent advisory services boutique
serving the emerging innovators and incumbent leaders of the financial technology sector

NEW YORK--()--SenaHill Partners, L.P., the Financial Technology sector’s Merchant Bank, today announces that it has reached an agreement with Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. that is aimed at expanding the investment banking reach of both firms within the rapidly evolving financial technology sector. SenaHill is a Merchant Bank offering a full suite of investment, operating, and advisory services. This agreement is a significant step in its evolution into a full-service, vertically integrated firm.

“With the launch of our strategic advisory business, SenaHill Advisors, LLC, and the addition of a perfect partner in Sandler O’Neill, we now feel uniquely positioned to offer the most complete and complementary suite of services to the entire industry,” said SenaHill Managing Partner Neil DeSena.

There has been a strong resurgence in financial technology innovation in recent years. Today, technology represents the primary area of investment for financial services companies and is seen as the driver of new solutions for revenue sourcing, product differentiation and regulatory compliance across the financial services sector. These trends also point toward higher levels of investment and opportunities for strategic and synergistic combinations.

SenaHill is positioned to be a key resource for financial technology companies, helping them source capital, grow and execute their strategies. “In just nine months, we have sourced and evaluated over 250 emerging financial technology growth companies,” said SenaHill managing partner Justin Brownhill. “With this agreement, we solidify our ability to assist these companies throughout their life-cycle, from raising early stage growth capital to executing an appropriate exit from an investment, an initial public offering, and everything in between.”

Founded in 2013 by prominent industry operators, SenaHill has already established itself as a key ally to financial technology companies. “The strategic and operational services that SenaHill offers separate us from other merchant banks,” DeSena said. “We are passionate about advising both the innovative entrepreneurs and the ultimate institutional end-customers or ‘strategic users’ of these products and services.”

"Sandler O'Neill is committed to the financial technology space and this is a fantastic opportunity for promising companies to leverage the broad and powerful resources of the largest independent investment bank focused on the financial services sector,” Brownhill said. “SenaHill's approach to source, invest, scale and now bank emerging financial technology companies with the support of our comprehensive advisory network of industry executives, creates a compelling value proposition.”

“The powerful cycle of innovation and investment taking place in the financial technology sector will influence all of financial services,” said Brian Sterling, Principal and co-head of Sandler O’Neill’s Investment Banking Group. “We are truly excited to have this relationship with SenaHill, its founding Partners, Neil and Justin, and their colleagues. We look forward to further expanding our advisory business in this growing and vibrant sector.”

SenaHill also announced that industry veteran and entrepreneur Kyle Zasky, who co-founded U.S. agency technology broker-dealer EdgeTrade, has joined the firm. Zasky is a former Managing Director at Knight Capital Group, where he was co-head of KnightDirect, the company’s institutional electronic trading group. SenaHill also named Gregg Sharenow its Chief Financial Officer. Sharenow was previously Chief Operating Officer of Global Clearing Services at Credit Suisse Group. Prior to that, he was Director of Strategic Operations at investment advisor Laurus Capital Management and Managing Director of Business Strategy at National Discount Brokers.

About Mr. Neil DeSena

Mr. DeSena, 48, most recently was a managing director at Goldman Sachs & Co. Prior to that, he was a partner at Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, L.P. where he founded the REDI Products division, provider of REDIPlus, one of the most widely used institutional trading technology systems.

About Mr. Justin Brownhill

Mr. Brownhill, 42, is the co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of The Receivables Exchange. He was a senior executive at Lava Trading and a Managing Director in Citigroup’s Global Electronic Trading Division. As an investment banker, Brownhill advised on more than $100 billion in merger and acquisition activity within the financial services and technology arena.

About SenaHill Partners, L.P.

SenaHill Partners is a Merchant Bank offering a full suite of investment, operating, and advisory services to the Financial Technology Sector. As operators with deep domain expertise, the partnership leverages its experience, rolodex, and unparalleled industry advisor network to offer superior services that drive its partner companies’ success. SenaHill focuses on four major vertical ecosystems: Capital Markets & Exchanges, Banking, Alternative Financing & Payments, Insurance & Asset Management, and Treasury & Cash Management. Additional information about SenaHill can be found on the firm’s website at

About Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P.

Founded in 1988, Sandler O’Neill + Partners is a full-service investment banking firm dedicated to providing comprehensive, innovative advisory and transaction execution services to the financial industry. The firm specializes in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, mutual-to-stock conversions, investment portfolio and interest rate risk management, fixed income securities transactions, and mortgage finance restructurings. Sandler O’Neill also is a market maker in hundreds of financial stocks and publishes equity and fixed income research focused on selected banks, thrifts and insurance companies, investment banks, asset managers, specialty finance companies, e-finance companies, real estate investment trusts, financial technology companies, and exchanges/transaction execution companies. Additional information about Sandler O’Neill can be found on the firm’s website at


SenaHill Partners, L.P.
Justin Brownhill, 212-451-6150


SenaHill Partners, L.P.
Justin Brownhill, 212-451-6150