May 8 (Reuters) - After more than half a century of recommending stocks of Wall Street firms, veteran banking analyst Dick Bove is switching sides and becoming an investor.
In a note announcing his decision to join the buy-side on Tuesday, Bove said he will take on the role of chief strategist at Hilton Capital Management, a division of research and investment firm Rafferty Holdings.
Since joining the securities industry at the end of 1965, Bove worked his way up from being a salesperson to heading research at various Wall Street firms.
Bove was one of the earliest to warn that the problematic mortgage-backed securities - which were at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis that led to the collapse of some well-known names on Wall Street - were ticking time bombs.
His move comes at a time when investment banks are slashing their equity research business, thanks to new rules by European regulators that require brokerages to charge separately for research products and services.
A frequent guest on business channels, Bove has covered banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc and is known for being bullish on banks.
Bove said he believed the outlook for the banking industry was better than it had been in decades.
He has also courted his fair share of controversies.
He was sued by BankAtlantic Bancorp in July 2008. The lawsuit accused the analyst of defaming the company by mentioning its name in a research note titled "Who is Next," two days after federal regulators seized IndyMac Bancorp Inc a large mortgage lending specialist. (Reporting by Parikshit Mishra and Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)