BMO Capital Markets is on a hiring spree as the firm opens up two new sales offices and expands its municipal research team. The bank has been hiring for several months now as it seeks to expand its presence in the muni market.

The new sales offices are in Midland, Mich., and Pittsburgh.

Tamara McGovern will lead the Midland office as director of institutional sales and Ed Twomey and Ron Mitchell will join the Pittsburgh office as director of institutional sales and vice president of institutional sales, respectively. All three new hires report to Cory Clark, director of financial institutions sales, who is based in the firm’s Chicago headquarters.

“We have a very active bank business within our shop now and these new hires only enhance our bank business — both within the community banks and credit unions in the Northwest with the addition of Tamara, and the relationships in Pennsylvania with the addition of Ed and Ron,” James Fitzgerald, managing director of sales, trading, and undwriting, said.

Reporting to Fitzgerald is Roy Hingston, director and senior balance-sheet strategist. Based in the Fort Lauderdale office, Hingston is responsible for reviewing bank, thrift, and credit union balance sheets. He is also responsible for developing investment strategies within the regulated banking industry.

“He is a specialist in regulatory issues and is known as an expert industry-wide,” Fitzgerald said. In the past, Hingston has worked with community-based financial institutions to develop successful balance-sheet strategies. Hingston will help service existing clients on the BMO platform as he has relationships with community banks nation-wide, while the hires in the new locations will help bring in more clients.

Joining BMO Capital Market’s municipal research team is Kathy Evers, managing director and head of municipal credit analytics. Based in New York, she heads up the all-female research team. Working with Evers are Joyce Miller and Catherine Krawitz. They report to Mary Lee Corrigan, managing director of sales and debt products.

Evers came on board in March and says the group will be responsible for providing municipal credit analytics and research to public finance sales and trading. The group will also issue special reports of interest to market participants.

“The bank has hired a very experienced and seasoned group of bankers, sales people, and traders to support BMO’s increased presence in public finance,” Evers said. “Providing research and credit analytics is an important part of that effort.”

Evers said the published research will provide an overview on trends in sectors, and will not necessarily be focused on individual issuers. Internal analytic efforts will focus on negotiated issuance, research on competitive deals the firm is bidding on, and support for sales and trading.

Krawitz joined BMO last fall from Harris Bank, and Miller was part of the research team of Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson Inc., which was acquired by BMO in May 2008.

Other new hires include Milton McNichol and David Blinder, who join as U.S. government securities sales directors in London and Houston, respectively.

McNichol focuses on expanding BMO’s distribution with banks, hedge funds, and central banks across Europe. Blinder’s work includes covering bank portfolios as well as a number of state and local government entities across the Southeast.

They report to Bradley Reid, chief dealer of core rates, who focuses on the development of interest rate business.

Last October, a half-dozen public finance bankers were hired in an effort to expand the higher education and health care practices. Since the acquisition of GKST, the bank has been trying to increase its image as a top senior manager and co-manager.

Since 2007, it has moved up in the ranks as a senior manager to 24th in 2010 from 38th place. As a co-manager, it has moved to 22nd in 2010 from 66th in 2007. BMO Capital Markets is the investment banking arm of Bank of Montreal.

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