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National Bank Financial is making a serious commitment to the energy sector, hiring a dedicated oil and gas stock trader from Macquarie Capital Markets Canada on Thursday, weeks after expanding its Calgary investment banking coverage.

NBF hired Bob Bastianon as a director in its institutional equity group, in what amounts to a hybrid role. Mr. Bastianon will be the investment dealer's liability trader on energy stocks - that means he can commit the firm's capital to facilitating trades for clients - and will also be a regular sales trader on the equity desk. He'll be based in Toronto, and help NBF broaden the service it offers investors, by building its expertise in a key sector of the domestic market. NBF is already home to five energy-focused research analysts.

Mr. Bastianon has spent two decades on the Street, and one of his previous employers was GMP Securities, where he worked closely with Calgary-based investment banker Sandy Edmonstone.

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Last month, Mr. Edmonstone signed on at National Bank Financial in Calgary, with a mandate to win more business from small to mid-tier oil and gas companies. The dealer has long-standing relationships with senior oil patch players.

Mr. Bastianon also worked at Midland Walwyn a few years back. The head of all things equities-related at National Bank Financial is Gerry Throop, who once run equities at Midland Walwyn. Mr. Bastianon is also a veteran of BMO Nesbitt Burns.

Macquarie just bought energy-focused investment dealer Tristone Capital, so energy is clearly a focus for the dealer, and losing Mr. Bastianon's services is a setback.

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About the Author
Business Columnist

Andrew Willis is a business columnist for the Report on Business at The Globe and Mail, based in Toronto.He has been in business communications and journalism for three decades. More

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