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Capital Markets Leadership


Kirsten Fraunces
Managing Director & Head of Equities

Ms. Fraunces is Managing Director & Head of Equities at Wedbush Securities. She possesses more than 20 years of industry experience and has been with Wedbush for 14 years. Kirsten manages the Institutional Equity Sales team of 20 sales representatives, which provides proprietary research ideas to 2,500 global investment managers. She also oversees the corporate access program providing over 100 non-deal road shows, three major annual investor conferences, in additional to regional bus tours and networking events in each of the research verticals. Prior to joining Wedbush, Ms. Fraunces was a Vice President in Equity Research at Merrill Lynch in the technology equity research group. She started her career at J.P Morgan Investment Management as an associate in Equity Research. She holds a BA in Mathematics and Music from Smith College and an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Investment Banking

Benjamin J. Davey
Managing Director, Head of Equity Capital Markets

Ben Davey is a Managing Director, Head of Equity Capital Markets at Wedbush Securities. He has previously served as the Head of Equity Syndicate/Equity Capital Markets at ThinkEquity Partners (ThinkPanmure), Vice President/ECM at JP Morgan Chase and VP/Deal Captain at Hambrecht & Quist. Ben joined Pacific Growth in October 2007 and has over 18 years in the industry while executing over 200 equity offerings.

Ben holds a BS in Business and a BA in Economics from Saint Mary’s College. He also earned his MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

F. Burke Dempsey
Managing Director, Director of Financial Institutions Investment Banking

Mr. Dempsey is Managing Director and Head of Financial Institutions Investment Banking for Wedbush Securities. Mr. Dempsey has over 30 years of global corporate finance experience, executing over 195 transactions worth approximately $65 billion. Prior to Wedbush, Mr. Dempsey was a Managing Director and Co-Head of Financial Institutions at Sterne Agee CRT.

Over his career, Mr. Dempsey has advised some of the largest global financial companies on acquisitions or divestitures such as: American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Chicago Mercantile, CBOE, Dai-Ichi Kangyo, Fidelity National Financial, General Electric, Ford Motor, General Motors Acceptance, Reuters, and Royal Bank of Scotland. Mr. Dempsey also held Key Man responsibilities as a contractor to the FDIC.

In the early 1990’s Mr. Dempsey was involved in privatization and sovereign debt restructuring coverage of eastern European emerging markets such as Ukraine and the Czech Republic. In 1991, Mr. Dempsey was chosen by the Kuwait Investment Authority to advise on the post-war reconstruction of several investment companies and the banking industry. His team was one of the first in Kuwait after the Gulf War.

Over his career Mr. Dempsey lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Mr. Dempsey holds a B.S in Applied Earth Science from Stanford University.

Mr. Dempsey and his wife of 28 years, Elizabeth, live in Greenwich, CT and have two adult children.

Jonathan Howe
Managing Director and Head of Mergers & Acquisitions Group

Jonathan Howe is Managing Director of Mergers & Acquisitions in the Wedbush Securities Investment Banking Group. Jonathan has over 25 years of investment banking experience gained while working at Wedbush Securities, Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., and Houlihan Lokey. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions representing both acquirers and sellers with particular expertise representing Special Committees of Boards of Directors. He has also closed numerous transactions for public and private clients in the forms of public offerings and private placements as well as advisory assignments including fairness opinion engagements. Additionally, he served as the CFO of Big Dog Holdings, a branded specialty retailer, where he co-led the company's successful IPO. Jonathan received his MBA from the University of Southern California and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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