Joel Simkins, Managing Director-Head of Gaming and Leisure Investment Banking at Truist: Behind the Money
Behind the Money
Joel Simkins recently joined Houlihan Lokey as Managing Director after spending six years at Truist Securities in a similar role. Before Truist, Simkins was a Senior Gaming, Lodging and Leisure Analyst for Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse. Known for bold, differentiated views, deep industry expertise, and an unparalleled network, he was recognized as Best Up & Coming Analyst in the 2009 Institutional Investor Poll and subsequently as #6 overall in 2012.
This episode discusses the following topics:
- Joel’s fitness lifestyle and being the first guest in the studio (5:00)
- How he began his career in banking and the gaming industry (6:00)
- Joel’s knowledge of the gaming industry before starting to work in the industry and childhood background (9:00)
- His role as the “CEO Whisperer” and his access to a wide variety of industry players (11:00)
- The rise of sports betting and online gaming (12:00)
- “I think we’re finally at the convergence point of bricks and clicks in the gaming industry.” (12:00)
- The gaming industry becoming increasingly global (13:00)
- Background of Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) concept (13:00)
- Impacts of the pandemic on the rise of technological innovations in the industry (15:00)
- Whether Joel has witnessed any investment failures during his career (15:00)
- Discussing cashless technology and whether it will ever be commoditized (18:00)
- Sports betting apps and the different features of each (20:00)
- What excites Joel the most about the gaming industry (22:00)
- The competition to win the bricks and clicks battle to converge the two styles of gaming (24:00)
- Lottery gaming becoming digitized (26:00)
- Serving as a guide for banks in investing, but not being allowed to invest his own money in the space (28:00)
- How Joel deals with the sheer number of proposals put in front of him (29:00)
- “It’s gratifying to help advise people that have a great idea and see it through to fruition.” (30:00)
- The importance of withstanding market crashes and being there for his clients through hard times (32:00)
- Ski stories and Joel’s knee injury in 2020 (34:00)
- Experiences with positive mentorship early in Joel’s career and in his leadership positions (35:00)
- Working on Wall Street for 20 years and the need to stay sharp physically and mentally (37:00)
- How companies can still have high value even as they operate at a loss (39:00)
- Gambling stories (41:00)
“I think we’re finally at the convergence point of bricks and clicks in the gaming industry.”— Joel Simkins
“It’s gratifying to help advise people that have a great idea and see it through to fruition.”— Joel Simkins
More about Joel Simkins
Joel is the Street’s only sector coverage banker with experience in sell-side debt/equity research and buy-side investment management. After a long tenure as a leading equity analyst at Credit Suisse, Joel executed a rare successful transition to investment banking, where he initiated and developed Truist’s leading Gaming & Leisure platform across debt, equity, and M&A. A recognizable and respected voice in the industry, Joel has appeared on Bloomberg, Canadian Business Channel, CNBC, Fox Business, SBC Americas, and other outlets.
About MaxBet Media
Two gambling enthusiasts, with a passion for all things gambling. Whether pressing our luck in the high limit room, testing the money line in the sportsbook, or just making friendly wagers on the back nine… we love to gamble! Our careers in the gaming industry have shown us that this industry is filled with some amazing people, with even more amazing stories. Our goal is to help provide a platform for those stories to be shared, while also helping everyone look good in the process.
About Landon Michael Jones
Manager and Co-Founder
Landon’s fascination with the casino industry began when he was just 12 years old and ultimately landed him in Las Vegas, where he earned a degree in hospitality management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). For over a decade, Landon has been involved in various aspects of the gaming industry, including operations, management, and supply & distribution.
Landon’s tenacity and passion afforded him the opportunity to serve the gaming industry’s key players and regions throughout the United States. Landon enjoys collaborating with industry leaders to create the ultimate gaming experience for the end-user.
About Mike McKiski
Manager and Co-Founder
A seasoned gaming industry executive and expert in building, marketing, and monetizing gambling related technologies, Mike McKiski currently serves as President of MaxBet Media, Inc., the digital media upstart delivering an unfiltered, authentic, and at times irreverent look at the people who are driving the gambling industry forward.
As he was founding MaxBet Media, Inc., McKiski worked for PlayAGS, Inc. (NYSE: AGS) serving as the company’s Vice President of Sales, with revenue responsibility for the Western United States and all of Canada. Under McKiski’s leadership the revenue team doubled in size and grew revenues over 300%. He is a market transformation catalyst who has been at the forefront of launching mobile and social marketing products for hundreds of casino operators across the continent.
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