Exclusive: Advanced Equities crew resurfaces

January 31, 2013, 11:11 PM UTC

FORTUNE — When Advanced Equities shut down last November, my assumption was that its staffers would scatter. After all, it seemed inconceivable that someone would want to help this controversial crew stay together. Not after the SEC settlement and the years of pushing lousy investments like Fisker Automotive. But I was wrong.

Fortune has learned that at least ten former Advanced Equities professionals have joined boutique investment bank Roth Capital Partners, to open a Chicago office and launch a venture finance group.

Former Advanced Equities CEO Keith Daubenspeck is not involved, but many of his direct reports are now at Roth. This includes former senior managing directors Jim Kozak, Peter McDonnell and Shawn Rogers.

A source familiar with the situation says that the group is reaching out to old Advanced Equities clients to drum up support for future business. Another source passed on an email from one ex-AEI brokers Joe Hede and Kevin Graetz, which included the following:

“A number of former AEI associates and I have come together to launch a new Venture Finance Group for ROTH Capital Partners – a California-based investment bank founded in 1984. Our Group’s primary focus will be leading venture round financings for private companies brought to us by our long-standing VC relationships as well as our connected, sophisticated high net worth individual (such as yourself) and institutional clientele.”

Roth does not mention the Chicago office or venture finance team on its website, but a spokeswoman did acknowledge that the ex-AEI staffers were working with Roth. She directed me to chief operating officer Gordon Roth, who is leading up the effort, but he has not yet responded to comment.

I also found a phone number for the new Chicago office, but nobody picked up.

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