Dick Bove Bolts Rochdale for Pure-Research Rafferty

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Richard Bove says 21 firms called him, and 10 made job offers, after he announced he was leaving Rochdale Securities. But only one, a firm with little history covering banking, would let him research banks with no outside meddling.

So, Bove is joining Rafferty Capital Markets.

The longtime banking industry analyst is leaving Rochdale after a trader there made an unauthorized trade of $1 billion in Apple stock. Once he decided to leave, Bove says, his phone started ringing. He interviewed with 11 of the 21 firms that contacted him, before selecting Rafferty.

Even though Rafferty's offer was less than the seven-figure offers other shops made him, it was appealing because Rafferty only does research, he says.

"I'm best suited at my age to work at a smaller firm that's well-capitalized and consistently profitable and where I would have the freedom to do the type of research I've done in the past few years," Bove, 71, says.

Rafferty will let Bove continue to work from his home in Lutz, Fla. He expects to issue his first research note early next month.

"We wish Dick the best of luck," said Dan Crowley, president of Rochdale Securities.

It's important for Bove to have a comfortable relationship with his supervisors, because he has a history of getting into spats with the banks he covers.

Bove had a long-running feud with BankAtlantic Bancorp (now part of BB&T). While with the firm Ladenburg Thalmann, Bove tagged BankAtlantic in 2008 as being at risk of failing. BankAtlantic responded with a defamation lawsuit, which it later dropped. Still, the legal battle prompted Bove to resign from Ladenburg Thalmann in February 2009, and subsequently join Rochdale.

Things haven't always devolved into courtroom battles between Bove and banks he's critiqued.

"Even when I wrote extremely negative things about [Goldman Sachs Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd] Blankfein," Bove says, "Goldman was extremely nice to me."

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