Veteran Wall Street auto analysts don't disappear. They just go into the car business themselves. John Casesa, one of the top auto analysts on Wall Street during his days at Merrill Lynch, has resurfaced.
Casesa, who left Merrill Lynch in January, has joined forces with former UnitedAuto Group executive A. Andrew Shapiro to form Casesa Shapiro Group LLC. Shapiro was responsible for 11 UnitedAuto franchises in the New York area with revenues of about $1 billion.
Casesa said the partners want to buy automotive dealerships. "We're negotiating some transactions now," he said. Casesa Shapiro, he said, "will combine the financial discipline and sophisticated systems of the best public consolidators with the owner commitment and local market knowledge of successful private operators."
And where is the dough coming from? "We may seek private equity partners, but we'll capitalize it ourselves."
Casesa isn't the first auto analyst to leave Wall Street for the car business. Morgan Stanley's Steve Girsky joined General Motors as an adviser to CEO Rick Wagoner last summer.